Your lifestyle is all that matters when you’ve tested positive for HIV. However, it is important to understand that the life expectancy of people with HIV has drastically increased over the past two decades. Living a full and long life has become the new norm. However, you need to be sure to make healthy life choices in order to keep your immune system strong. Below are some lifestyle tips that are necessary to live a healthy life with HIV:
1. Healthy mindset
A healthy mind is the core of all wellness in life. A positive and resilient mindset is the beginning of a true and healthy lifestyle. Positive lifestyle changes mean a life filled with positivity and happiness.
2. Visiting the doctor and taking your meds
According to the reports at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) held in 2016, the life expectancy of an HIV positive and HIV negative individual was narrower than ever. The survival of HIV-infected people has drastically improved with antiretroviral therapy. It is a combination of many drugs that an HIV-positive individual has to consume regularly every day. Ensure to schedule regular visits with the doctor.
3. Quit smoking and consuming illegal substances
Smoking in general causes several carcinogenic toxins to stay in the lungs for a long time. Be it tobacco or any other kind of substance in the bloodstream decreases the immunity of the individual. There are various safe ways to quit smoking and other substances for good.
4. Limiting alcohol consumption
Alcohol, in general, increases the risk of heart and liver diseases. When the immune system is already under stress you might not want to add more. Moreover, antiretroviral therapy is intensive and you might want to ask your doctor about the permitted alcohol limit. Many drugs cause adverse side effects with alcohol.
5. Eating healthy food
As the saying goes, “you are what you eat,” a nutritious fresh organic well-balanced diet is best to keep your body and mind healthy. Eating all the necessary nutrients can slow down the progression of HIV and combat the virus. During antiretroviral therapy, it is recommended to eat healthy to alleviate the side effects of the drugs.
6. Exercising regularly
Exercises of all kinds are good. Exercise not just maintains your weight and keeps you healthier, but it increases good mood and memory and decreases anxiety, depression and negative stress. Research on exercise has proven that there is a very powerful connection between the brain and movement. Opt for gymming, running, walking or swimming or yoga. Keeping yourself engaged in one kind of activity or the other. Exercise promotes better sleep patterns as well.
7. Indulge in safe sex
Sex life does not need to end with an HIV infection. However, it is a prerequisite to use all safety measures for safe sex. Using a fresh and new latex condom when engaging in intercourse helps you and your partner to stay protected from HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases.
An overall improvement in lifestyle can and has increased the life expectancy and wellbeing of HIV positive individuals over the past decade. Live your life happily with these lifestyle tips that will also manage HIV. Consistent positive habits are key to a healthy lifestyle.