Managing HIV goes beyond just taking your medications—you’ve also got to live a healthy life. These patients and physicians share how you can give your body what it needs to thrive with HIV.
Raven: Getting to know your doctor, eating healthy, getting into support groups, loving yourself, and exercise.
Yolanda: After my diagnosis, I began to receive nutrition and exercise advice.
Marcus: Working out, watching diet.
Dorothy: You need to adopt a whole foods diet, which is loaded with fruits and vegetables.
Tomara: I'm eating quinoa. I'm eating kale salads, spinach, broccoli.
Dr. Khalil: Protein should be a big focus, lean meat, fish.
Beth Warren: A patient who has HIV may experience weight loss, so you may have to do a diet that's going to help promote weight gain at times.
Dorothy: You want to include healthy fats.
Beth Warren: Those are foods like nuts, avocados, nut butters. It's important for patients with HIV to take into account food safety rules. Because their immune system's compromised, they're more likely to catch infections from poor handling of foods.
Dorothy: You want to make sure your water is really as clean as you can get it.
Beth Warren: So get acclimated with the temperature you're supposed to cook your meat.
Dorothy: You even want to put a filter maybe in your shower head.
Dr. Khalil: The most important thing for them is going to be compliance with your medications.
Marcus: And that becomes sometimes the most difficult part because you just go, "God, I just don't want to do it anymore." And then you take a deep breath and you suck it up and you take your meds and you move on with your day.
Dorothy: Stress management is key. People living with HIV who include daily meditations or daily sessions of prayer have much better outcomes.
Yolanda: And it was really taking me to a place that I felt such a sense of calm.
Dorothy: This is not woo-woo. This is science. The easiest way to meditate, simply follow your breath.
Tomara: And just breathe, saying nothing. Just ... just breathing.
Dorothy: Exercise is perhaps the most powerful antidepressant that you can do.
Raven: I do a lot of yoga.
Dorothy: If your body is flexible, you become flexible.
Tomara: The number one thing for someone going on a regimen is to have that support.
Raven: It's good to talk to someone else outside your box.
Yolanda: Find a therapist.
Marcus: Talk to people. They're there for you. I'm there for you.
Dorothy: Just because you have HIV does not mean that you can't have a healthy, happy, long life. Your wellness is very much up to you, and it's time to make a commitment.
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