Ever seen the saddened face of a person whose HIV result has just come out positive, the flashes of a thousand years that goes through his/her mind? It’s that terrible, trying to imagine the level of fear associated with the contraction of HIV.
When asked, many often say their greatest fear in life is being infected with the incurable disease called HIV yet many fail to tune their minds to the possibility to survive and lead a healthy life even if infected with HIV.
How easy, then, can it be to live with HIV? Of course, it could be easy with adherence to certain habits even though many still hold on to that uptight attitude that life has ended once a person becomes an HIV patient. How farther from the truth are they.
How to live successfully with HIV in the system
It is quite simple. Change in some habits can help one achieve a healthier life even with the presence of HIV in the system. Many have done it and are currently enjoying the benefits of those lifestyle changes. Some of them include:
- The use of Antiretroviral Drugs. Doing this ASAP is crucial for one who has just been diagnosed with HIV. Since the virus basically weakens the immune system and makes it susceptible to other kinds of opportunistic infections, the use of antiretroviral drugs would help one to keep the immune system healthy and prevent it from deteriorating. One may experience some side effects in the first month which makes it very important to keep in close contact with the doctor frequently.
- Engage in regular exercise. This is not the time to be depressed and sit indoors all day long. You need to keep the body fit and this requires engaging in exercises weekly, if not daily. These activities would help to build strong bones, burn fat, and build the muscles, among other health benefits associated with it.
- Eat healthy foods. This same advice, on the subject of healthy food consumption for those who are not infected with HIV, applies also to those who are infected. The advantage of doing so cannot be overemphasized given its ability to keep the body healthy. In the circumstance where one is not knowledgeable about how to consume healthy food, a professional dietician may come in handy to determine what is suitable for the patient.
- Reduce the intake of hard drugs and alcohol. Stopping the consumption of alcohol may be difficult for some but a bearable reduction in the level of consumption may be just fine. This is because frequent heavy consumption of alcohol and illicit drugs put the immune system that is already weakened at risk, and this may hamper the success of the antiretroviral drugs that are being used by the patient. All in all, it is advisable to always talk to one’s doctor about alcohol use during such a period.
- Have the right frame of mind. Being psychologically balanced is another angle of treatment and management through which HIV can be well managed from. Everything starts with how the patient thinks about him or herself in society. This is the reason many other HIV patients are advised to help others (especially newly infected persons) so as to speed up their psychological recovery from the shock of being infected. Bob, who is a survivor, says “never give up, never give up, never give up.” Find and join a group where HIV-related issues are discussed, where folks motivate, encourage, and keep the hope alive. Nothing beats keeping the mind in high spirits.
- Keep your head up strong in the game. HIV comes with anxiety, depression, and stress which can also be detrimental to the immune system. This is the part where everything may seem impossible, but with the strong will to continue to overcome the pressure, one would simply find his or her head back in the game.
Living with HIV is not on the bucket list of anyone but in such a circumstance where one is discovered to be infected with the virus, the above lifestyle changes may come in very handy to help lead a fine life for a long time.
HIV, which was once considered a death sentence, is no more such a dreadful thing. Many have survived the infection and gone on to lead a sound, healthy, and productive life all thanks to following the rules and keeping the spirit high.
Interestingly, it’s not much about how much cash one has, but how far he or she is willing to adhere to the doctors’ advice and the determination to beat the disease.