Human immunodeficiency virus is referred to as HIV. It compromises your immune system by obliterating a specific type of white blood cell that aids in infection resistance. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is referred to as AIDS. It is the last stage of HIV infection. HIV infection does not always lead to AIDS. Although there is no cure, there are several medications available to treat HIV infection as well as the associated illnesses and malignancies. To mark World AIDS Day 2022, OnlyMyHealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Chhaya Vaja, General Physician, Apollo Spectra Mumbai, to know about things you must know if you are living with HIV AIDS.
How can someone with HIV have a healthy life?
You can assist yourself if you have HIV by:
- Receiving medical attention as soon as you learn about your HIV positive status. Find a medical professional with knowledge of treating HIV/AIDS.
- Ensuring that you routinely take your medications
- Maintaining routine dental and medical treatments
- Taking care of your mental health and receiving assistance from therapists, social service agencies, and other support systems
- Do your best to educate yourself on HIV/AIDS and its therapies.
- Given that HIV is a chronic illness, you will frequently communicate with your medical team, who will continuously evaluate your course of therapy.
- Having a positive relationship with your medical team will make it simpler for you to communicate any symptoms or worries you may have. The staff can help you with information.
- You can seek help at a specialised HIV clinic, which is typically a section of a sexual health or infectious diseases clinic at your neighbourhood hospital.
Preventing other infections
A person with HIV may have immune system deterioration if they do not receive therapy. As a result, they are more likely to have opportunistic infections, which are more common in persons with weakened immune systems. Uncontrolled HIV can make it simpler for a person to get additional infections, which might make treatment more difficult. Receiving ART and maintaining current vaccinations can help stop this.
People with HIV must continue to regularly monitor their health in order to spot any early indications of infection. A healthcare expert may assist them in identifying their health risks, learning about potential problems, and getting any concerns they might have answered.
Everyone, not just those living with HIV, should maintain a healthy diet and engage in regular exercise. Eating should be prioritized with an abundance of whole grains, veggies, and fruits. Lean protein sources, such as fish, chicken, and lentils, wholesome fats from almonds, avocados, and olive oil, and hardly any heavily processed foods.
HIV-positive individuals may suffer complications that make it difficult for them to swallow or eat. These problems might be brought on by illnesses, pharmaceutical side effects, or infections. People with HIV must also engage in regular exercise. Exercise can promote mental health, boost hunger, control immunological response, and avoid constipation. Generally speaking, people with HIV may engage in the same kinds of physical activity as those who are HIV-free. Before beginning any new fitness programme, they should speak with a healthcare provider.
A person may have overwhelming feelings after learning they have HIV. Despite the fact that HIV is a chronic condition, new medications allow patients to become healthy and lead normal, active lives. Although every person's experience is unique, people should collaborate with a healthcare practitioner to develop the most effective treatment strategy for themselves. They can also ask their relatives, friends, and support networks for assistance.