One fine day a beautiful woman entered my clinic with her husband. Both were really scared, tensed and disheartened as they wanted to have a baby but were detected HIV positive. I was really touched and I took it as a challenge to be a support system to the couple and treating them with the knowledge I am blessed with. It took 20 months and they are hale and hearty. So I thought of sharing some valuable tips which every HIV positive patient should keep into mind while going through the treatment.
Aid for Aids is available these days due to prolonged hard work in research and studies by medical researchers. You don’t have to stop living a healthy and complete life. With the right treatment, right care and most importantly the right diet; you can lead a healthy and normal life as any other normal person is living. Stay under the guidance of a medical nutritionist to know about your nutrition and health as your body will undergo lots of changes both from the medication and disease itself. The effects of HIV virus vary from person to person. People experience diarrhoea, tremendous weight loss, infection, change in body shape and even increase in Cholesterol level in the body.
HIV infection has its ill effects on immune system so it increases one’s calorie needs as well. Your appetite will be affected and you will not get proper nutrition required to maintain a healthy body. It will lead to weight loss and your body will become lean. To manage this disease and the weight, it is recommended to have regular visits to medical nutritionists and keep a close diagnose on the diet the patient is having.
For a person with HIV there should be a balanced diet to maintain the nutrition level in the body and it should include:
Starchy Food like bread, cereals, green banana, millets, potato, pasta and rice. It should form two-third part of your diet as it provides carbohydrates, fibre, vitamin B, calcium and iron.
Try to choose wholegrain versions of carbohydrates where possible.
A diet high in fibre helps digestion and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer.
Avoid raw or undercooked eggs, poultry, meat and fish as well as unpasteurised dairy products and juices.
Cook and reheat proteins before consuming up to an appropriate temperature.
Wash your hands before and after eating the meals.
Have variety of fruits and veggies as they provide vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Dairy products are good for HIV patients as they provide calcium but some contain saturated fats so should be taken in low quantity.
Dairy products can be replaced by soya, nuts, oats, rice n coconut products if you avoid dairy.
Dark green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, dried fruits, nuts, beans such as soy and baked beans, tofu and bread are all very good sources of calcium and also iron.
Pulses, quinoa, soya and tofu can complete the protein requirements of the patient. Fish should be taken once a week as it is rich in omega -3.
Foods and beverages with high amount of sugar content should be consumed in a limited quantity as guided by your nutritionist.
Our life doesn’t end if we are diagnosed with such deadly infection called HIV but it is required to be lived with extra care. Stay happy and positive. Involve yourself into the activities you enjoy the most. Be around the people you love and leave the responsibility of your diet on your medical nutritionist.
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