Is there anything one can do to stay healthy after getting infected with HIV?

The shortest answer is yes! There are things that one can do to stay healthy after getting infected with HIV. Emotional support may be very important for HIV-positive people because it breaks the isolation and provides a safe way of sharing both feelings and practical information.

Medical Care: Once an infected person finds a doctor or clinic, his/ her main objective is to get an evaluation of the general health and immune function.

Many doctors do the following:

  • Administer lab tests to evaluate the immune system.
  • Determine if one has other diseases that might become problematic in future, including syphilis, TB, hepatitis-B, and toxoplasmosis.

If one is already infected with one or more of these other illnesses, there may be treatments or prophylaxis available to prevent it from becoming more serious or recurring in the future. If one's not already infected, doctors may be able to prevent future infection by:

  • Administering vaccines. Many HIV positive people get a hepatitis-B vaccine and bacterial pneumonia vaccines, since contracting these diseases could be dangerous for immune suppressed people.
  • Prescribing antiviral treatments and protease inhibitors when tests show immune system impairment.
  • Scheduling regular checkups. Checkups may be scheduled every three to six months. Some people need more frequent check-ups, particularly when they are starting new antiviral drugs.