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Dos and don'ts for people living with HIV/AIDS

Dos

  • DO take your HIV treatment regularly as prescribed. This is the best way to keep your immune system strong and to prevent passing on the virus to someone else.
  • DO keep healthy: lower your alcohol consumption, exercise regularly, keep a healthy and balanced diet, and be sure to maintain good sleep hygiene. Keeping your body healthy can help you prevent or minimize many of the effects of HIV infection, such as weight loss, loss of muscle mass and even stress or depression about your condition.
  • DO use a condom every time you have sexual intercourse—for your protection and the protection of others.
  • DO see your doctor regularly. Your doctor or HIV specialist can help you monitor your condition and ensure that your treatment plan is adjusted when needed.
  • DO get support if you need it.

Don’ts

  • DON’T despair: if you take your medication as prescribed, HIV will have a minimal effect on your life.
  • DON’T get isolated, especially in the first few weeks after your diagnosis.
  • DON’T start any new medications without speaking with your pharmacist.
  • DON’T have unprotected sex: it could place you at risk of getting a resistant strain of HIV, which could cause your antiretroviral treatment to fail.
  • DON’T smoke or do illicit drugs.

 

How to support someone living with HIV/AIDS