8 WAYS TO LIVE HEALTHILY WITH HIV
DIET IS IMPORTANT
HIV and some HIV medications can change the way your body processes food. Your diet should be well-balanced and you should be eating the right types of food – including fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and healthier fats
TAKE SOME EXERCISE
Exercise can help make you feel better and can also help with the side effects of HIV medication. You don’t need to overdo it – start with some gentle exercise and, if you feel up to it, move on to something a little more strenuous.
It’s a fact that people living with HIV who smoke have an increased risk of developing heart disease, cancer and lung disease. There’s a lot of support out there if you want to stop – and quitting will mean that you’re much less likely to develop other serious illnesses. It will also save you money.
ADHERE TO YOUR MEDICATION
Good adherence to your medication should mean a healthier and stronger immune system and an undetectable viral load. Make sure that you take your meds on time and as prescribed by your consultant.
LOOK AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Depression is twice as common amongst people living with HIV. Don’t be afraid to ask for some support if you’re feeling low. Good mental health is as important as good physical health.
MODERATE YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE
Too much alcohol is bad for your general health and can impact on your immune system. Try to stick to the recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption, and aim to have at least two or three alcohol free days each week. If you feel that you are losing control of your drinking, there is plenty of support available, and our Services Advisers can point you in the right direction.
USE RECREATIONAL DRUGS?
There can be some serious interactions between some recreational drugs and HIV medication and some recreational drugs increase the risk of depression and other mental health problems. Your judgement and inhibitions can also be affected by substance use, and you could end up missing doses of your medication, drinking more alcohol and not sleeping properly.
IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE
Staying healthy is important and by making small changes in your diet and lifestyle and adhering to your medication there’s no reason not to be able to live your life healthily with HIV.