For the People Living with HIV (PlLHIV) community, nutritional support is an essential component to ensuring better efficacy of the ART regimen. In this episode of Chigurida Badaku, RJ Radha and Dr. Subadhra discuss the importance of having access to balanced nutrition when living with HIV/AIDS.
Antiretroviral therapy has been ground-breaking when it comes to improving the life expectancy of persons living with HIV/AIDS. In India, ART has reduced the incidence of AIDS by 38%, but for this therapy to be fully effective, patients cannot go without good nutritional support.
Dr. Subadhra begins this episode with a basic explanation of how HIV infections are primarily caused. ”It is mostly spread through unprotected sex and unsafe blood transfusion. AIDS can also spread through the placenta, therefore an HIV+ mother can pass o the infection to their child.” A few of the symptoms of this condition include persistent cough, cold, and opportunistic infections. As the body’s immune system weakens, many kinds of infections creep into the body.
”During the medication period, liquid foods are the most ideal. Spicy, fried, and highly acidic foods should be avoided. Consuming small and frequent meals is often recommended. Good nutrition improves the immune system and protects the body from opportunistic infections and increases life expectancy.”
It, of course, doesn’t stop at food and medication. Dr. Subadhra emphasises that every AIDS patients should be assisted both emotionally and socially. ”Individual counseling will help them cope better.”
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