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Lifestyle Changes to Manage AIDS
- Decreasing your risk of infections and keeping your immune system healthy
- Preventing the spread of HIV to others
- Emotional support and counseling
General Guidelines for Managing AIDS
- Wash your hands often and 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.
- Avoid unnecessary contact with people who are ill.
- Get any vaccines recommended by your doctor.
- Do not handle cat litter boxes or stool (feces).
- Do not touch bird droppings or 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.
- Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
- Eat a healthful, well balanced diet.
- Manage stress.
- Do not smoke, drink alcohol, or use recreational drugs.
- Get adequate rest.
- Exercise regularly.
- Keep up with your doctor visits. Ask questions about new lifestyle changes including travel plans you are considering. Your doctor can help you lower the risk of infections.
- Abstain from sex. If you are sexually active, use a male latex condom. Sexual activity includes intercourse and any other sexual acts that result in the exchange of bodily fluids.
- Inform former or potential sexual partners of your HIV-positive status.
- Do not share personal items, such as razors, toothbrushes, or tweezers.
- Do not donate blood, tissue, fluids, or organs.
- Talk to your doctor about contraception options.
- If you have a baby, do not breastfeed. The virus can be transmitted in your milk.
- Improve your coping strategies for dealing with the physical symptoms of AIDS
- Help you tell your family and friends that you have HIV infection
- Assist you in dealing with the stress and anger that often accompanies diagnosis of HIV infection
- Help you deal with losses associated with the disease, such as the inability to work and dependence on others for housekeeping or personal care
- Reviewer: David L. Horn, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 09/2016
- Update Date: 09/17/2014