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;
- 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.