by Horn D

Lifestyle changes can help you manage AIDS. This may involve:

General Guidelines for Managing HIV

Lowering Your Risk of Infections and Keeping Your Immune System Healthy

If you have HIV, your immune system may be weak. You may not be able to fight off other infections. To lower your risk of infections and keep your immune system as healthy as possible:

  • Wash your hands often. Do so always after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
  • Clean under your fingernails.
  • Use hand cream to prevent dry skin.
  • Cover any cuts or sores.
  • Try to stay away from others who are sick.
  • Keep up with any vaccines you need.
  • Do not touch:
  • Cat litter boxes or stool
  • Bird droppings
  • Fish tank water
  • Wear gloves when gardening.
  • Keep the house clean, using bleach to clean toilets.
  • Do not eat raw eggs, fish, or shellfish.
  • Eat meats, poultry, and fish that are cooked to well-done.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
  • Eat a healthful, well balanced diet.
  • Manage stress.
  • Do not smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Keep up with your doctor visits. Ask questions about any upcoming events such as travel. Your doctor can help you lower the risk of infections.
Preventing the Spread of HIV to Others

Having sex or sharing needles with another person spreads HIV.

To keep HIV from spreading to others:

  • Use a male latex condom every time you have sex. This includes anal, vaginal, or oral sex.
  • Tell past or new sex partners that you have HIV.
  • Do not share your items, such as razors, toothbrushes, or tweezers with others
  • Do not donate blood, tissue, fluids, or organs.
  • Talk to your doctor about birth control options.
  • If you have a baby, do not breastfeed. The virus can be transmitted to your baby from breast milk.
Emotional Support and Counseling

Counseling can help you:

  • Cope with the physical symptoms.
  • Tell your family and friends that you have HIV.
  • Control stress and anger that comes with having HIV.
  • Deal with losses, such as your job or being able to do certain things

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on how your thoughts affect the way you feel and act. CBT can help ease stress, anger, depression, and anxiety.

You may find help by joining support groups or doing art therapy.


2015 Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: Updated January 25, 2017. Accessed September 17, 2018.

Guide for HIV/AIDS clinical care. National Institute of Health and Human Services website. Available at: Updated April 2014. Accessed September 17, 2018.

Living with HIV. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: Updated July 23, 2018. Accessed September 17, 2018.

Overview of HIV infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated July 31, 2018. Accessed September 17, 2018.

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