Going by the UNAIDS data, the number of deaths due to AIDS related causes has reduced (2010) to what it used to be in the mid 2000s. Several deaths have been averted owing to advances in the medical world and progressive research. The data related to HIV/AIDS indicates that people find it easier now to live with the condition than they used to before. Nonetheless, living with HIV/AIDS is not painless and easy. Although it is just another illness of the body and should pose similar consequences as other illnesses, reality seems deviated from assumptions. The social stigma or reluctance to AIDS can pose more challenging conditions to a sufferer than the actual illness. Creating awareness is one way to spread a positive message that fighting the disease is the most important thing to overcome the condition. The will to fight the illness is the most important factor which can ensure healthy living with HIV/AIDS.
4 Helpful Ways of Healthy Living with HIV/AIDS
Finding a support group of like-mined community can ease your emotional discomfort. Find some more helpful ways to ease living with the condition.
Stay Healthy through Adequate Nutrition and Lifestyle
Protecting health is of paramount significance when dealing with this illness. Nutrition serves well in preparing the body to fight and combat unfavorable side effects of the illness. Eat healthy foods too keep your body protected and strong. Losing appetite can be a common thing when you are ill. This can cause weight loss, make it harder for the body to fight HIV infection thus worsening the condition. Try to eat whenever you feel your appetite to be good. Avoid drinking too much just prior to a meal as this can reduce the portion being eaten. Refrain from carbonated (or fizzy) drinks and foods including cabbage and broccoli. These things can create gas in the stomach and make you feel full and bloated.
You can eat small meals or even snack between meals. Mild exercising, like walking or doing yoga, can improve appetite. Choose your favorite foods as often as possible and eat with family or friends to enjoy mealtime. Do not smoke or use drugs which have not been prescribed by your doctor. Sleep well and relax. Meditation or prayer can help in avoiding stress.
Take Care of Medication and Related Conditions
You should abide by the treatment procedure and prescription advice of your doctor. Prompt treatment is necessary for HIV/AIDS patients. Take medicines as prescribed by your doctor and do not manipulate medicinal advice. If you feel discomfort by consuming a medicine, talk to your doctor about alternatives. Immunizations for pneumonia and flu may be necessary to prevent infections. Medicines can adversely affect your appetite, make food bad to taste and even prevent food from being absorbed in the correct manner. Nausea, sore mouth and vomiting may also hinder eating habits.
Women with HIV may Need Specific Care
As per data published in the UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report 2011, although the proportion of HIV infected women has remained steady at 50% worldwide, they are still more at risk in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. Women with HIV infection should undergo Pap test and check for STDs regularly. Infection with HIV makes the body less effective in controlling various viruses. The human papilloma virus (HPV), which is a specific virus that can infect cervical cells, is monitored through Pap test. In case of an abnormal Pap test result, your doctor may repeat it or complement it with other tests. An abnormal Pap test result in the past should be communicated to the doctor.
Pregnancy can pose specific questions like your baby having HIV infection or the treatment procedure interfering with your pregnancy. The possibility of passing HIV to your baby before or during birth is almost 1 in 4. However, treatment with antiretroviral medicines may reduce the risk. Care is needed before conception, throughout pregnancy and even after delivery. Since HIV infection can pass through breast milk, do not breast-feed your baby.
Having Sex with HIV infection
People with HIV infection can enjoy relationship but with caution. An infected person’s partner should know about the infection to remain safe and protected. Birth control methods should be discussed with your doctor in your best interest. Safe sex, like using a condom and avoiding risky things, can ensure that HIV infection is not transferred to a healthy person. Body fluids like semen, blood and vaginal fluid can be easy carriers of HIV. The vagina and anus are easily torn and make it easier for the virus to penetrate. Using condoms can reduce the risk to the minimum. Safe sex is important for protecting yourself as well as your partner. It restricts sexually transmitted diseases and even other HIV strains.Re-infection is possible although it is not very likely.
But getting another strain of HIV can worsen your condition and make treatment difficult. This becomes crucial as even an otherwise trivial health problem can be troubling and even challenging for an infected person due to weak immunity. Certain things can ease living with HIV/AIDS and avoid worsening the condition. Small differences to living can amount to large benefits in minimizing the adverse personal and social effects of the condition.