Physically

What you can expect

Being HIV positive may lead to extreme changes in your energy and physical health. You may experience pain, breathlessness, a change in your body image and a feeling of general tiredness. The following symptoms may also be experienced frequently:

  • Fever and sweats;
  • Headache;
  • Enlarged glands;
  • Lack of energy;
  • Weight loss;
  • Persistent of frequent yeast infections;
  • Skin rashes or flaky skin;
  • Short-term memory loss; and
  • Some people develop frequent and severe herpes infection that can cause mouth, genital, or anal sores, or a painful nerve disease called Shingles.

What you can do

  • Follow a balanced diet.
  • Avoid junk foods, caffeine, alcohol, smoking and drugs as these will suppress your immune system.
  • Take a good quality multivitamin (an immune booster) – check with your doctor before commencing with any new medication.
  • Get enough rest and sleep – constant fatigue will also suppress your immune system.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Always practice safer sex to prevent re-infection.
  • Find an appropriate doctor skilled in HIV management.
  • Go for regular check-ups to maintain good health.
  • At the onset of any illness or infection get immediate medical treatment.
  • Talk to your doctor about Anti-retroviral (ARV) Treatment. If already on ARV's make sure that you adhere to the regimen – poor adherence could result in developing a resistance to the ARV.
  • If you use herbal medical treatment, discuss it with your doctor – some herbal remedies may interact with ARV's.
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