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HIV & AIDS Health Center

HIV and Your Body

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HIV and Your Liver

Many people with HIV also have some form of hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver. HIV, if untreated, can raise your chances of having liver problems. Some HIV medications also have liver-damaging side effects.

Keep a close watch on your liver with regular tests.

Other ways to help your liver: Avoid alcohol, don't use recreational drugs, don’t eat extra carbs and fats, and eat fewer calories if you carry extra weight.

HIV and Your Bones

The loss of bone density is common in people with HIV, and it means your bones can break more easily.

To help preserve bone density:

  • Get more calcium and vitamin D.
  • Keep your weight at a healthy level.
  • Don’t drink or smoke.
  • Get regular exercise.

Also, ask your doctor about medications that can help with bone loss.

HIV and Your Brain

When your immune system is weak, you are more likely to get infections that can cause inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. That can lead to confusion and other thinking problems as well as weakness, headaches, seizures, and balance problems. 

HIV can also affect your mental health.  Many people with HIV have depression or anxiety.

When the disease is very far along, you can get dementia and have problems remembering things.

To stay as healthy as possible, take your medications as your doctor prescribed and keep your doctor informed about any symptoms you notice.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on November 22, 2013
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