Healthy living

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Health advice for people living with HIV is much the same as it is for everyone else: eat well, exercise, drink in moderation and don't smoke.

These pages feature all that good, basic health advice plus some issues of particular relevance to people living with HIV. 

For more specific medical advice see Other health conditions.

Exercise

M oderate exercise is beneficial to everyone. E xercise stimulates the immune system and can boost your mood while keeping fit reduces the risk of a range of illnesses. Thirty to forty minutes every second day should keep everything in order: providing you are also getting enough sleep, not smoking...

Smoking

Tobacco is one of the most widely-used drugs. Once smoked, the nicotine in the tobacco reaches the brain in a few seconds, stimulating a release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which makes you feel less anxious, more mentally alert and mildly euphoric. That’s the good news. The bad news is that...

Ageing

Many people living with HIV are now aged over 50. This more mature aged group now accounts for nearly 30% of the positive population in Australia. When you combine this with the increase in new diagnoses among people over 40 – up almost 70% since 2000 – it all points to a growing vulnerability for...

Alcohol and other drugs

If you drink alcohol or use another drug, as with any indulgence, moderation is key. Overuse any drug and you risk damaging your health and in some cases your HIV treatment outcomes . If you depend on alcohol or another drug, it is a good idea to review what is going on in your life and to find...

Mental health

From the shock of diagnosis to the dilemma of disclosure. From facing stigma to dealing with grief. HIV comes with its share of mental challenges. Is it any wonder that a significant number of people with HIV suffer from mental health problems? Living with anxiety or depression adds to the burden...

Dental health

Dental care is important for everyone but often needs particular attention for people with HIV . PLHIV tend to suffer from more gum disease and a higher level of decay. This is often due to a lack of sufficient saliva , a side affect of HIV and medications, as well as other factors such as smoking...

Nutrition

Good nutrition and good health go hand in hand for everyone. But for positive people, having a healthy diet is even more important. Every minute of every day, our bodies are working hard to fight HIV, and that takes a surprising amount of energy. Getting that energy means more than just avoiding...