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A healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, but if you’re HIV positive it is even more important. Looking after your health will help you avoid possible opportunistic infections that occur when a person has a weak immune system. Also, if you look after your mind and body, you should experience a healthy life and find it easier to adhere to your HIV treatments.

Mental health

Your mental health affects your outlook on life. People living with HIV are more prone to low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and low self-confidence. If you believe that any of these or other mental health-related issues, are affecting you then contact your clinic or local mental health service to see a specialist.

You can also confide in friends and family, or join a local support group to work through your experiences with your peers. Find out about our services.

Diet and exercise

Diet is an important factor in a healthy lifestyle. There is no specific diet that people living with HIV need to follow, but ensuring that your body gets a balance of the foodstuffs it needs will help keep your immune system strong enough to ward off infections.

On top of this, it is important to do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 times a week. For more information on diet and exercise, visit the NHS’ Change For Life website.

Alcohol and other drugs

Overindulgence in drink, tobacco, or other recreational drugs can cause problems whether you are HIV positive or not. The effects of these drugs can make it difficult for you to perceive risk or remember things, leading to risky behaviours, or forgetting to take your treatment.

If you think that your drug usage is causing problems, you can contact your clinic or local health service to find a service that can support you and help you change your habits.