There are many things PLHIV can do to keep their bodies healthy and live positively with HIV, including:
- Use condoms and practice safer sex every time.
- Get STIs treated right away and tell your partner to get them treated too.
- Get a TB test and treat TB right away.
- Use a family planning method if you want to limit or space children.
- Go to the hospital or clinic for check-ups, lab tests and to pick up medicines. Never miss an appointment.
- Take medicines the right way (at the right time, the right number, etc.).
- Tell the nurse and doctor if there are any changes, even small ones, in your health.
- Stay busy and active.
- Get enough rest.
- Get sunlight and breathe fresh air every day.
- Avoid insect bites.
- Join a PLHIV association and a support group and talk about things openly.
- Exercise or stretch every day to stay healthy. If bedridden, have a family member help with stretches to keep blood flowing and prevent bedsores.
- Stay clean – wash regularly and wash hands often, especially after going to the toilet and before making food.
- Eat enough good food and take multivitamins.
- Boil drinking water to make sure it is clean.
- Cook food well to get rid of germs.
- Wash raw fruits and vegetables well with clean water.
- Keep the house and compound clean, including getting rid of any pests, any containers containing still (stagnant) water and garbage.
- Use a germ-killing bleach solution diluted with water to keep household surfaces clean.
Avoid practices or behaviours that are not healthy. These include:
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Using drugs
- Sharing medicines or stopping them without talking to the doctor
- Having unsafe sex
- Avoiding social contact and staying alone too much
- Missing appointments at the clinic
- Taking traditional medicines that you have not discussed with the doctor
- Eating too many sugary or fatty foods
- Not eating enough good foods
The Comprehensive Peer Educator Training Curriculum: Trainer Manual International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs, Columbia University