HIV & Nutrition

Good nutrition can be a problem for many people with HIV.  When your body fights any infection, it uses more energy and you need to eat more than normal.  But when you feel sick, you eat less than normal, good diets and nutrition help many people living HIV feel healthier.

Studies have found that people living with HIV with a healthy diet and good nutritional status can better tolerate HIV drugs, maintain weight and muscle mass more easily, and feel better overall.

Nutrients are things like fats, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other important chemicals.  You need proper levels of different nutrients in order to build and repair cells, keep hormones regulated, fight infection, and maintain energy levels.  For the most part, we can’t make nutrients.  We get what we need from food and (when that’s not possible) dietary supplements.

Good nutrition depends on many things, including:

  • What you’re eating (how much, what type of food, etc.)
  • How you digest and absorb nutrients
  • How different parts of your body use these nutrients

HIV-related changes in any of these factors can affect your nutritional status. Over time, this can lead to a variety of nutritional problems, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Muscle wasting
  • High levels of fats and sugars in the blood
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Many of these HIV-related problems can be avoided, or partially managed, using nutritional strategies.

A dietician (Emma) visits LASS on a monthly basis to offer helpful advice and information, she’s with us tomorrow (Friday, 19th August) between 12:00 – 13:00 and will talk about methods to adapt recipes to gain or lose weight which may be helpful.

Service users are welcome to attend to speak with Emma to get more  information

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