By Dr. Pravin Patel Vijay Patel, General Physician
The human immunodeficiency virus, better known as HIV, is a lentivirus (a specific type of virus) which overtime causes AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). HIV spreads when an infected person engages in intercourse or through infected blood transfusions. The common symptoms in HIV patients are chronic fatigue, rapid weight loss, swollen lymph nodes etc. However, HIV patients can live a normal life if they incorporate minor changes into their lifestyle.
Listed below are a few lifestyle choices HIV patients can opt for to be healthy:
- Eating nutritious meals: Eating nutritious meals and incorporating more multi-vitamins and zinc can help in slowing down the progression of HIV. Also, eating balanced meals helps in combating the symptoms which are detrimental to your health.
- Adding moderate physical exercise to your daily routine: Exercising daily can help to maintain optimal weight levels and elevate mood in no time. By exercising daily, one can opt for a healthier and more robust approach to life. Adding physical exercise also reduces the risk of various heart ailments, osteoporosis and diabetes, conditions which HIV positive people are especially susceptible to.
- Practicing safe sex: HIV doesn’t mean one can’t have sex. Having protected and safe sex can prevent the virus from infecting the partner and also keeps a number of STDs at bay.
- Being extra careful about infections: Owing to an impaired immune system, people with HIV are more likely to contract various infections as compared to others. For instance, smoking can result in lung infections way more easily. Hence, it is advised to quit smoking right away once one is diagnosed with HIV. Also, minor things such as washing hands before a meal or taking a bath regularly assume paramount importance in such cases.
- Regular visits to the doctor: Regular visits to the doctor might just help in the detection of STDs, if any, that one might be unaware of. Moreover, it helps the doctor track the progress of the condition, so that he/she can suggest medications accordingly.