Statisa.com reports that over 1.9 million Nigerians are living with HIV/AIDS.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks and suppresses the body’s immune system. When HIV is not treated, it could lead to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) and this virus, unfortunately, has no cure yet. Once a person gets HIV, they have to live with it for the rest of their lives. Although this might sound like a death sentence, in reality, it is not. With an early diagnosis and with proper care, an HIV patient could live healthily and reduce their viral load to the barest minimum
Here are some healthy living tips for HIV/AIDS patients-
Take your medications as prescribed
As an HIV patient, there would be a number of routine medications that would be prescribed to you by your Doctor. These medications should be taken as instructed as they would help to keep the virus load low. Do not under or over these meds and ensure you avoid self-medication or any form of drug abuse as these could have fatal effects on your health.
By exercising regularly, you build your muscles which helps to retain body mass and improve the health of your heart which helps to combat the risk of cardiovascular diseases which is heightened with HIV/AIDS.
Practice Safe Sex with your partner
Contrary to popular beliefs that HIV can never have sex, Patients with low viral loads can actually have sex with their partners. However, to avoid spreading the virus to your partner or contracting other STDs, ensure you have a condom on when you are having sexual intercourse. Talk to your doctor for advice to determine what your options are and if it is safe to even have sex at all.
Limit Alcohol Intake
Research has shown that alcohol can affect an effect on both your body and behavior. This would weaken the immune system, damage the liver as well as encourage you to act irresponsibly which is the last thing you want to do. Therefore, it is advised that you take little or no alcohol.
Maintain a healthy balanced diet
Healthy and clean eating is a major requirement for staying healthy. This comes with several benefits for HIV/AIDS patients including the provision of energy and nutrients needed to fight HIV and other infections. This also helps your medicines work more effectively and helps you to maintain a healthy weight. Talk to your doctor or dietician about the right choice of foods for you.
In conclusion, please remember that living with any disease is hard and requires your unflinching commitment to making healthy life choices. Life doesn’t end with HIV and with the right support and care, HIV/AIDS patients can also live a long and happy life. If you’re a friend, relative, or colleague of someone living with this virus, please show them love and support without any form of stigmatization.
As an employee under any of our Corporate (Group) Health plans, you have access to our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) where you can have 100% confidential discussions with a professional therapist and other advisors. Ask your HR about the EAP or call Leadway on 0700-CALL-LW-HMO. You can also send us a WhatsApp chat on 234 904 076 0684 for further information on how to access this program.