Taking care of oneself is essential for anyone, but it is very important for those living with HIV/AIDS. Proper nutrition, regular exercise, sleeping and emotional health are all important.
Eating well is important for the health and well-being of all people. Here are some helpful suggestions for healthier living:
- Eat enough food to maintain a healthy body weight.
- To meet your protein needs, eat meats, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts,
beans and dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese.
- For vitamins and minerals, eat fruits, vegetables, and grains such
as breads, cereal, and rice.
- Use fats such as margarine, butter, and salad dressings to add flavor.
And they add a calorie boost if needed.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially when it's hot and when you exercise.
- Like desserts? Desserts add calories with little nutritional value.
But if your weight is okay, and you're eating the foods mentioned, enjoy
- Take a vitamin/mineral supplement daily, which provides 1-2 times
the recommended daily allowance (RDA). But remember, while it gives added insurance, it does
not take the place of a meal.
Good nutrition is a complement to medical therapy for HIV, not a substitute
for it. Beware of products or diets promising a cure for everything.
- It's okay to be a vegetarian, but it's not necessary. Vegetarian diets
can be nutritionally adequate, but it takes more planning. So if you
like meat, eat it, but cook it well.
- Megavitamin mineral therapy and herbal therapy for HIV have not been
adequately studied and could be expensive. Some are harmless, but sometimes these therapies can interfere with other treatments, so tell the clinical staff about the supplements you take.
Food Preparation and Handling
- Although eating raw or rare meat or fish is a delicacy for some Alaska Native tribes, limit or reduce eating raw or undercooked meat or fish. Toxoplasmosis (an infection caused by a single-celled parasite named toxoplasma gondii), can be acquired mostly from eating raw or uncooked food, or by touching your mouth with your hands after you have worked with soiled materials (dirt, soil, raw/uncooked food, etc.).
- Avoid "raw" milk products and unpasteurized milk because
of the risk of food poisoning (salmonella).
- Sharing dishes and silverware is fine. They should be washed in
hot soapy water between uses.
- Keep kitchen clean. Common mold and fungi can be dangerous for people
with impaired immune systems.
- Clean kitchen centers with a bleach solution (nine parts water to one
part bleach). Use a bleach solution to disinfect sponges. Soak them
in this solution for five minutes.