D R . E L R O I


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Living Positively 2

Let's take a look first in strengthening the immune system. Since HIV weakens the immune system, we need to look at healthy habits that can strengthen it. Eating properly and healthy foods, getting enough rest and exercise, reducing stress levels in our lives and avoiding unhealthy habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption amongst others do indeed have a positive impact on our general health. The body can further be strengthened by specific multivitamins and immune boosters which should be taken in consultation with a health practitioner or doctor. These general habits do in fact apply to all people who wish to take proper care of their bodies regardless if you are HIV positive or negative. The best time to implement these habits in your life is today!

Treat all the opportunistic infections or OIs. Although there is no cure for HIV, the majority of minor OIs can be healed. Ergo it is very important to treat the symptoms of all OIs as soon as it appears. This is to limit the damage it can cause to your body and to relieve you from the symptoms. A simple cold and sore throats could lead to meningitis. Untreated flu could lead to bronchitis or pneumonia. These are chances an HIV positive person should not take.

HIV will remain in the body but that does not mean all of the opportunistic infections also have to!

Antiretroviral treatment or ARVs or ART. Despite our attempts to strengthen the immune system and to keep the body generally healthy, there does come a time when the immune system is not strong enough to provide sufficient protection to the body and then it is advised that people should start taking ARVs. It's a strong medication that directly attacks the virus in the body and suppresses the multiplication of the virus. With fewer viruses or lower viral load, the attack on the CD4 cells is reduced and this gives the CD4 cells the opportunity to recover and multiply again. A higher CD4 count implies a stronger immune system.

Source: "Channels of Hope" workshop manual.

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