Healthy Body

Healthy behaviours:

There are many things PLHIV can do to keep their bodies healthy and live positively with HIV, including:

  1. Use condoms and practice safer sex every time.
  2. Get STIs treated right away and tell your partner to get them treated too.
  3. Get a TB test and treat TB right away.
  4. Use a family planning method if you want to limit or space children.
  5. Go to the hospital or clinic for check-ups, lab tests and to pick up medicines. Never miss an appointment.
  6. Take medicines the right way (at the right time, the right number, etc.).
  7. Tell the nurse and doctor if there are any changes, even small ones, in your health.
  8. Stay busy and active.
  9. Get enough rest.
  10. Get sunlight and breathe fresh air every day.
  11. Avoid insect bites.
  12. Join a PLHIV association and a support group and talk about things openly.
  13. Exercise or stretch every day to stay healthy. If bedridden, have a family member help with stretches to keep blood flowing and prevent bedsores.
  14. Stay clean – wash regularly and wash hands often, especially after going to the toilet and before making food.
  15. Eat enough good food and take multivitamins.
  16. Boil drinking water to make sure it is clean.
  17. Cook food well to get rid of germs.
  18. Wash raw fruits and vegetables well with clean water.
  19. Keep the house and compound clean, including getting rid of any pests, any containers containing still (stagnant) water and garbage.
  20. Use a germ-killing bleach solution diluted with water to keep household surfaces clean.

Unhealthy behaviours:

Avoid practices or behaviours that are not healthy. These include:

  1. Drinking too much alcohol
  2. Using drugs
  3. Smoking
  4. Sharing medicines or stopping them without talking to the doctor
  5. Having unsafe sex
  6. Avoiding social contact and staying alone too much
  7. Missing appointments at the clinic
  8. Taking traditional medicines that you have not discussed with the doctor
  9. Eating too many sugary or fatty foods
  10. Not eating enough good foods


The Comprehensive Peer Educator Training Curriculum: Trainer Manual International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs, Columbia University