By Dr. Vandana on Lybrate.
Once upon a time, getting diagnosed with HIV was almost equivalent to getting sentenced to death. But it’s not so anymore. In fact, the life expectancy of an HIV positive person is now currently estimated at 80 years, which is more or less the same as a person who hasn’t been infected by the virus. So what can you do to add those extra 20 years to your life? Read on to find out more this World AIDS Day.
1. Take diet rich in fibre
Lymphoid tissues in your stomach are full of T cells (a type of lymphocyte or simply put a type of white blood cell). HIV affects these T-cells greatly, and that is precisely the reason why HIV positive people suffer from gastrointestinal problems. However, having a properly functioning gastrointestinal tract is very important for the absorption of antiretroviral medication. Here’s when a diet rich in fibre can help. A highly fibrous diet and even probiotics can ensure proper absorption of antiretroviral medication and can help in preventing any side effects such as diarrhoea. So be sure to include lots of wheat, corn and rice bran in your diet to stay healthy and live longer.
2. Listen to your favourite tracks
Loss of the proper functioning of your brain is one of the most common side effects of HIV. Music can be the solution to this side effect. Galina Mindlin, MD and co-author of Your Playlist Can Change Your Life, has come up with the Brain Music Therapy. This therapy converts your brainwaves into music to help you to sleep, concentrate and deal with depression or stress in a much better way. Any of your favourite tracks can help you in getting sleep or increasing your concentration levels in just two weeks. All you have to do is listen to the tracks you love twice a day for at least 5 minutes.
3. Take all your supplements religiously
Multivitamins, zinc and selenium supplements are a must if you are HIV positive and want to live a long and healthy life. Zinc deficiency is highly common in people who suffer from HIV, and is responsible for immune dysfunction in the early days of the illness. Selenium, on the other hand, can boost your immunity while controlling the level of the virus in the body. Vitamin D and calcium supplements are a must too, especially if you’re a woman. However, there are certain drugs you must avoid and it is best to consult with your doctor in such cases.
4. Get a dog
While having a baby might be risky, adopting a dog instead may prove to be a much better idea. Studies have shown that for those infected by HIV, having a pet (whether it’s a dog or a cat) can help the patient in feeling less lonely. In fact, a particular study revealed that anxiety in HIV patients was reduced by 37% before undergoing medical procedures if they spent some quality time with their furry four-legged friends. So get a pet to advance in years in a healthy way.
Go ahead and adopt these 4 incredibly simple tips in your daily to life healthily for a century despite being HIV positive.