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World AIDS Day 2019: Tips For Healthy Living With HIV

Every year, 1 December marks the commemoration of the united fight against HIV and AIDS. World AIDS Day has been raising awareness of the epidemic that kills at least 1 million people every year, since 1988.

The idea behind the international observance is to expunge the outmoded stigma and to show solidarity to the HIV affected. AIDS and HIV infections are one of the biggest problems of the current world, despite the establishment of enhanced and upgraded preventive measures.

The theme for the 2019 observance is "Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community"/"Communities make the difference". The 2019 theme shines a light on the significant and essential role played the communities in the AIDS response at the international, national and local levels.

In the current article, we will focus on exploring some health tips and ways necessary for an individual living with HIV-AIDS.

Health Tips For Living With HIV

Once you are diagnosed with AIDS, it does not state that one must give up the normal routines. Having HIV doesn't have to stop you living a healthy life in the way that you choose to do. However, one must make certain healthy changes and shifts, to protect your immune system to maintain overall health. Keeping your body healthy and maintaining a healthy routine can help fight off viruses and other types of infections [1] .

As the treatment begins, it is important that you play your part in it too. That is, the medications used to treat the human immunodeficiency virus is effective in controlling the virus, however, there are several healthy lifestyle habits you can adopt to help boost the success of your HIV treatment [2] [3] .

Eat healthily: One of the most important factor to be taken care of is your eating habits. Eating a nutritious, balanced diet is an important part of caring for the immune system and maintaining good health. As there is no specific diet for the condition, following a nutrient-rich diet is the best way.

Follow a diet that consists of lots of fruit and vegetables, starchy carbs, like brown rice and whole grains, some protein, like fish, eggs, or lean meat, dairy, like low-fat milk or cheese and healthy fats, like those found in nuts, avocados, or extra virgin olive oil [4] .

Be physically and mentally active: Physical and mental exercise can keep your mind and body strong. Regular physical exercise, such as walking, biking, running, swimming can help you keep physically fit while keeping your stress levels also in check [5] . Physical exercise also aids in improving your immunity, therefore, carrying out regular exercises such as aerobics, resistance training and flexibility training is beneficial for your health [6] .

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should try to get at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobics every week. Consult your doctor before incorporating exercise into your routine.

Practice safe sex: The most important and critical health tip to be considered is this one. Use condoms not only to avoid the spread of HIV but also to protect both you and your partner against other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and other types of infections [7] .

Maintain good oral health: Health experts and studies point out that, HIV elevates the risk of advanced gum and tooth disease. Therefore, it is necessary to get regular dental checkups every six months [8] . Maintaining good oral hygiene can help prevent the onset of oral infections and other dental problems because any infection that compromises your immune system will affect your overall health.

Avoid drugs, alcohol and smoking: Consuming these can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to infections. Avoid illegal drugs and take prescription drugs as directed by your doctor to help protect your immune system, which can also help in preventing cognitive impairment - which is important in minimizing HIV-related dementia [9] .

Get tested for other STDs: The concurrence of other STDs can worsen HIV and make the disease progress more rapidly. It also increases your chance of transmitting the infection to other people and decreases your chance of achieving improved health from treatments [7] .

Follow your doctor's orders: It is highly important to follow your doctor's guidelines about your medical prescriptions. Missing out on even a single day's medication can cause the virus to progress rapidly, often making them immune to the medicine [10] .

On A Final Note....

The keys to staying healthy with HIV are within your control. Focus and patience can help you in managing the condition and leading a normal life. Follow a healthy lifestyle, consume a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet. Treat your body well so that it can help you fight against the virus.

View Article References
  1. [1] Cobbing, S., Hanass-Hancock, J., & Myezwa, H. (2017). A home-based rehabilitation intervention for adults living with HIV: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 28(1), 105-117.
  2. [2] Arnold, E. M., Desmond, K. A., Rotheram-Borus, M. J., Scheffler, A., Comulada, W. S., Johnson, M. O., ... & Healthy Living Project Group. (2017). Drug use and emotional distress differentiate unstably-versus stably-housed adults living with HIV who engage in unprotected sex. Journal of health psychology, 22(3), 302-313.
  3. [3] Bello, T. K., Gericke, G. J., & MacIntyre, U. E. (2019). Development, Implementation, and Process Evaluation of a Theory-Based Nutrition Education Programme for Adults Living With HIV in Abeokuta, Nigeria. Frontiers in Public Health, 7.
  4. [4] Copeland, T. (2018). Self-managing HIV/AIDS: cultural competence and health among women in Nairobi, Kenya. Anthropology & medicine, 25(2), 176-190.
  5. [5] Vancampfort, D., Mugisha, J., Richards, J., De Hert, M., Probst, M., & Stubbs, B. (2018). Physical activity correlates in people living with HIV/AIDS: a systematic review of 45 studies. Disability and rehabilitation, 40(14), 1618-1629.
  6. [6] Remien, R. H., Stirratt, M. J., Nguyen, N., Robbins, R. N., Pala, A. N., & Mellins, C. A. (2019). Mental health and HIV/AIDS: the need for an integrated response. AIDS (London, England), 33(9), 1411.
  7. [7] Keswani, M., Gupta, T., & Meharda, B. (2019). Assessment of knowledge of school going children regarding HIV/AIDS in rural field practice area (RHTC) Srinagar, JLN medical college and Hospital, Ajmer. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 6(6), 2629-2633.
  8. [8] Sardana, D., Goyal, A., Gauba, K., Kapur, A., & Manchanda, S. (2019). Effect of specially designed oral health preventive programme on oral health of visually impaired children: use of audio and tactile aids. International dental journal, 69(2), 98-106.
  9. [9] Swendeman, D., Bantjes, J., Mindry, D., Stewart, J., Tomlinson, M., Rotheram-Borus, M. J., & Medich, M. (2019). The Experiences of Young Men, Their Families, and Their Coaches Following a Soccer and Vocational Training Intervention to Prevent HIV and Drug Abuse in South Africa. AIDS Education and Prevention, 31(3), 224-236.
  10. [10] Detels, R., Wu, J., & Wu, Z. (2019). Control of HIV/AIDS can be achieved with multi-strategies.

Read more about: hiv aids world aids day
Story first published: Sunday, December 1, 2019, 18:00 [IST]
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