HIV / AIDS: Healthy Lifestyle

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HIV / AIDS: Healthy Lifestyle
HIV / AIDS: Healthy Lifestyle

Video: HIV / AIDS: Healthy Lifestyle

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Video: 6 Tips for Staying Healthy With HIV 2023, January

HIV / AIDS: Healthy Lifestyle

An unhealthy lifestyle with poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol and drug use increases the risk of numerous, sometimes life-threatening diseases. These damaging influences also affect people infected with HIV in particular, as they can put additional strain on their already weakened immune system and their organ systems. The interaction of all these harmful factors can quickly lead to a physical and psychological breakdown. Conversely, a healthy lifestyle can have a positive influence on the course of the disease and the quality of life…


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Prevent infections
  • Healthy nutrition
  • Regular exercise
  • Alleviate side effects of therapy
  • Regular medical check-ups
  • Mental balance
  • Psychosocial help and advice
  • Whom can I ask?

Prevent infections

People with HIV can reduce the risk of infections or support their immune system by taking the following measures:

  • Quitting smoking: Smoking puts a strain on the immune system. (Information under stop smoking)
  • Do not consume drugs: These also put a strain on the immune system and impair the effectiveness of the drugs.
  • Check vaccination protection: The attending physician will advise you. (Information under vaccination recommendations)
  • A healthy diet supports the immune system. (Info under nutrition)
  • Regular exercise supports the immune system and improves mood. (Info under movement)
  • Handling animals: The usual hygienic handling of animals is recommended and is completely sufficient.
  • Careful hand washing: Especially after using the toilet, before and after preparing meals or after coming into contact with large crowds.

Healthy nutrition

In addition to drug therapy, a healthy diet with a varied and tasty mixed diet is an important pillar for the well-being of HIV-positive patients.

For various reasons, the nutrient supply of the body in HIV patients may not be sufficient, e.g. by too low nutrient supply or impaired nutrient uptake in the organism or due to side effects or interactions of drugs. As a result, malnutrition leads to a reduction in muscle strength, vital capacity, respiratory volume, immune function, wound healing, gastric acid, CD4 / CD8 ratio and enzyme production. In the case of malnutrition with unwanted weight loss of over ten percent, the risk of death for people with HIV increases four to six times.

Note Diets favorable to HIV positive people usually follow general recommendations for healthy eating. Body weight should be checked regularly to prevent malnutrition or malnutrition.

Regular exercise

Another important pillar is exercise. In general, physical activity has many positive effects on health that can have a beneficial effect on the course of the disease in HIV-positive people, e.g. improved immune defense, better metabolic functions or antidepressant effects.

Alleviate side effects of therapy

Combination antiretroviral therapy can have a negative impact on metabolism and cardiovascular functions.

Possible complications are:

  • visceral fat accumulation (fat layer around internal organs) - very rare with today's modern drugs
  • Insulin resistance (increased blood sugar, diabetic metabolism) - very rare with today's modern drugs
  • Lowering HDL cholesterol (heart protection cholesterol)
  • Increase in LDL cholesterol (vascular calcification, atherosclerosis)
  • increased triglyceride levels

Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help alleviate these side effects. For example, regular exercise helps HIV sufferers to normalize their metabolism and reduce excess belly fat.

Regular medical check-ups

HI viruses, concomitant diseases and undesirable side effects of drugs can cause lasting damage to vital organ systems such as the cardiovascular, metabolic, excretory, skeletal and nervous systems. An important task of regular medical examinations is to identify such damage at an early stage and to counteract it with suitable measures. This includes advice, lifestyle changes and changes in drug treatment.

Mental balance

Both the communication of a positive HIV result and the internal confrontation with this disease (from rejection to doubt to acceptance) mean an enormous amount of stress, which often breaks out in psychological stress reactions. Episodes of deep despair and depression, fear and panic can plunge those infected with HIV into a mental crisis. For more information, see Depression and HIV / AIDS.

In such situations, it is particularly valuable if those affected receive support from family and good friends or in a self-help group. In addition, professional help from psychologists and sometimes from specialists in psychiatry can also be accepted. In addition to psychosocial support, complementary medical methods can also complement treatment.

Psychosocial help and advice

People with HIV can receive emotional and psychological support in all outpatient clinics from psychiatric departments and through the "Psychosocial Service". The HIV treatment centers also work closely with psychologists. As part of hospital treatment, psychological and social care is covered by outpatient clinics or day clinics.

City, state or municipality can offer financial support for treatment by resident psychologists. Resident psychologists currently only have a limited number of treatment places, which they can fully offset with the social insurance institutions.

For more information:

  • AIDS aids
  • Social worker in the HIV treatment center or in the hospital.

Whom can I ask?

After a preliminary medical consultation, the AIDS-Hilfen offer:

  • Nutritional advice (low deductible),
  • Exercise programs (free courses lasting several weeks)
  • Smoking cessation (free of charge),
  • Psychological counseling for individual problem clarification and processing (free of charge).

Further information:

The HIV treatment centers and specialized doctors in private practice offer comprehensive care for patients. This also includes advice and support regarding a healthy lifestyle.

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