Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection - Treatment Overview
You may also want to start HIV treatment if your sexual partner does not have HIV. Treatment of your HIV infection can help prevent the spread of HIV to your sexual partner.10
Lifestyle choices that can help keep your immune system
- Quit smoking. People with HIV are more likely
to have a
heart attack or get lung cancer.1, 2 Cigarette smoking can increase
these risks even more. For more information, see the topic
- Limit your use of alcohol. Abuse of alcohol increases the rate
of HIV progression. For more information, see the topic
Alcohol Abuse and Dependence.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Getting adequate protein and calories may help your immune system
fight the HIV infection and improve your overall health. For more information,
see the topic
- Exercise regularly
to reduce stress and help you feel better. For more information, see the topic
- Do not use illegal drugs.
Using drugs that you inject into a vein increases the risk of
HIV progression, though the reasons for this are not clear. The illegal use of injected drugs
can make it harder to follow a treatment plan and increases the risk of
transmitting HIV to others. Abuse of marijuana, cocaine (crack), and other
drugs also can cause HIV to progress more rapidly.
Learning how to live with HIV infection may also keep
your immune system strong, while also preventing the spread of HIV to
Counseling is another treatment that
can improve your quality of life while you are living with HIV. It can help you
depression, which commonly occur with an HIV
diagnosis. For more information, see the topics
If your partner has
Treatment if HIV progresses to AIDS
HIV progresses to a late stage,
HAART will be started or continued to keep your immune system as healthy as possible. If you get any diseases that point to AIDS, such as Pneumocystis pneumonia or Kaposi's sarcoma, your doctor will treat them.
Measuring the effectiveness of medicine therapy