Eating a nutritious, balanced diet is an important part of treating HIV. Good nutrition can help your immune system stay strong, which in turn may help your body fight HIV. Knowing the best way to nourish your body will help keep it strong and allow your HIV medicines to work effectively.
It is important to maintain lean muscle mass while fighting HIV. Maintaining a healthy weight can be a challenge because weight loss is common with HIV and is a side effect of some HIV medications. You may also have digestive problems associated with HIV or its treatment. Sometimes you just won't feel like eating.
Getting enough protein and calories may help your immune system fight the HIV infection and improve your overall health. Nutritional counselling has been shown to improve your health while living with HIV. Your doctor may periodically assess your diet after you are diagnosed with HIV.footnote 1 If you have trouble eating or maintaining your weight, a registered dietitian or your doctor can provide you with information to improve your diet.
Marijuana has also been shown to stimulate the appetite of people with HIV. Talk to your doctor if you are interested in trying it.
Nerad J, et al. (2003). General nutrition management in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 36(Suppl 2): S52–S62.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineBrian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerPeter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease
Current as ofNovember 18, 2017
Current as of: November 18, 2017
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Peter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease
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