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How to live with HIV, expert advice



According to Elena Orlova-Morozova, head of the outpatient department of the Moscow Regional Center for the Prevention and Control of AIDS and Infectious Diseases, the society is still wary of HIV-infected people, primarily because they know nothing about them. Not all HIV-positive people find the strength to openly declare their diagnosis, as Masha and Nastya did. Many are afraid that if they seek help, then everyone around will learn about the disease and they will become outcasts.

No one is required to report HIV status at work in accordance with the law. A conversation with loved ones (with a husband and children who automatically fall into a risk group) must be thought out in advance. One of the main arguments: HIV is never, under any circumstances transmitted through the household. With HIV-positive people, you can eat from one dish, sleep in the same bed and hug from the heart - they are not contagious.

To deny the existence of HIV infection, as the "HIV dissidents" do, is futile. One of the AIDS Center specialists recalls a case from his practice when he observed an HIV-positive couple belonging to the “HIV-dissidents”. As a result, no matter how sad, the girl died, the virus quickly overpowered her due to the lack of adequate treatment. After experiencing a terrible tragedy, the young man subsequently changed his attitude towards HIV and began to be treated, but it was too late. It sounds too instructive, but such cases, unfortunately, are not isolated.

However, in order to harm yourself, it is not necessary to deny HIV, just ignore your problem. “I feel fine, why do I need treatment,” thousands of people who find out about their diagnosis console themselves. And here we need to make an important clarification: when the disease actually makes itself felt, it will be too late. So, Masha Godlevskaya found out about the presence of a virus in her body as early as 16 years old, but for a long time she did not receive treatment. Masha’s disease previously proceeded in such a way that the viral load on the body was small and rose only once, when the girl fell ill with severe pneumonia. Nevertheless, before the start of antiretroviral therapy (ART), treatment of HIV, Masha constantly suffered from colds and herpes. After the start of treatment, the condition returned to normal, Masha became pregnant and gave birth to a healthy baby. Masha wanted to give birth herself, but the doctors advised to have a cesarean section - not because of HIV, but because of heart contraindications.

Elena Orlova-Morozova explains that the possibility of having children of their own for HIV-positive people is the same as for HIV-negative people, provided that they comply with all the doctor's recommendations for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. According to the state statistical observation, for almost 30 years of the existence of HIV infection in Russia, about 145 thousand children were born from HIV-infected mothers. Only 6% of them had HIV infection.


There is no cure for HIV infection. Nevertheless, if you start the fight against the virus in time, you can live with HIV, make long-term plans, study, work, and dream of old age in a house on the beach surrounded by grandchildren. Antiretroviral therapy is a combination of three to four drugs, each of which affects a stage in the HIV reproduction cycle. Simply put, during therapy, the virus ceases to multiply in the cells of the human immune system. People who receive treatment almost never develop AIDS.

In Russia, antiretroviral therapy is provided free of charge at the expense of the state, and the number of patients receiving medications is increasing year by year. So, if in 2011 a little more than 94 thousand patients underwent therapy, then in 2015 the number approached 217 thousand.

According to the minister, this was facilitated by a whole range of government measures: the use of standardized HIV treatment regimens recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), centralized government procurement of drugs, the widespread use of domestic drugs as part of import substitution policies, and other mechanisms to reduce the cost of these drugs.

As in the case of HIV infection, it is necessary to detect the disease in time and start treatment in case of viral hepatitis B and C. The most eloquent statistics speak about the results of hepatitis treatment: one fifth of patients living with viral hepatitis and receiving regular treatment are people over 65 years old. Like HIV, hepatitis does not manifest itself for a long time: there is neither jaundice, nor an enlarged liver or spleen. Igor Nikitin, professor, MD, notes that complaints about fatigue often become the first alarming “bell” about the patient’s condition. This seemingly insignificant detail is a good argument for testing for viral hepatitis.


“To the questions about what bothers me, I reply that I’m tired of drinking pills every day,” Nastya Mokina jokes. As an operator of the HIV / AIDS hotline, she explains to her interlocutors that with the help of antiretroviral therapy, HIV infection has long turned from a deadly disease into an ordinary chronic disease.

Six years ago, Nastya, like many other 24-year-old girls, was going to get married and really wanted a child from her loved one. Shortly before the wedding, the future husband accidentally discovered HIV infection. Six months later, Nastya received a positive analysis result. “It was scary, but there was no depression and feeling that I was going to die soon. I’m probably too positive about myself to be harassed by some viruses in my body, ”she recalls and notes that not all people react calmly to the results of the analysis. Girls almost all fall into hysteria and cry. Young people silently shut themselves in or get angry. And they both do not know how to live on.

How to live with HIV

How can you live happily and happily with HIV? To do this, you need to know how to support yourself and not harm others. HIV infection is incurable today, but a diagnosis is not a sentence that takes effect immediately. In Russia, people live on average 70 years. Infected people usually live to be 63 years old, and this indicator is constantly progressing.

If you follow medical advice and fight for yourself, a person with HIV-positive status can safely live a long and happy life. Every day today is worth its weight in gold. Every year, new drugs are released that help to achieve positive results in the treatment of the disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus. Someday the panacea will recede.

Rules for HIV

Living in HIV in modern society is not always easy. Not only the patient’s way of thinking changes, but also the people with whom he lived, talked, studied, and made friends.

The primary question is the safety of healthy family members and the entire human environment. However, the infected person has a huge responsibility. A sick person tries to fully live with HIV and at the same time does not become a threat to society.

However, there are a lot of people living with this diagnosis. For all of them, HIV infection was the beginning of a new life, but not everyone accepted this situation and, having changed their own lifestyle, subjugated a serious illness. How to be among the strong and go the difficult way with dignity?

Join a HIV group Positive, other people's experience can help you too

Get rid of fears

To overcome the initial shock after diagnosis, it is important to recognize it. Thanks to the fruits of modern technology, it is much easier for a sick person today to find the necessary information about the disease.

Support for social networks can play an important role in the adoption process. There are communities of people on the Internet who have contracted HIV at different times in their lives. Here you can get acquainted with the real attitude towards HIV-infected people: a conscious society is ready to help patients, observe the rights of the patient and not regret, but support.

After realizing what happened, the infected person faces two main fears:

  • fear about your health
  • fear about the health of neighbors (husband, spouse, children, parents, etc.).

Indeed, there are times when people living in the same house as an HIV-infected person become infected with the virus. We’ll talk about how to prevent this from happening later.

Now let's look farther into the depths of the problem and touch on the fear of our own health. To overcome emotions, you need not only to operate with information, but also to believe in your bright future. In no case should you complain about how it threatened to infect you, putting an end to your own life. Need to pack up! If you can’t do it yourself, you need to contact a specialist in psychiatry.

And most importantly, the patient has to understand: to maintain health, you need to immediately begin treatment, even if you do not believe in a favorable prognosis at all.

Life with HIV begins with food.

HIV is not influenza, and the approach to this disease is regular and comprehensive. Link number 1 in this chain is the patient’s nutrition. This is not about traditional calorie counting and diet. In most cases, patients have to completely change their eating habits, review their diet. So, planning a patient’s daily menu is based on the following five steps:

  1. Eat fruits and vegetables, drink less juice. Include dried, fresh, or frozen vegetables and fruits in your diet. Choose products of different colors.
  2. Include cereals in the menu. Prefer whole grains (buckwheat, whole wheat, oats).
  3. Enrich your diet with dairy products and their substitutes. When choosing a substitute, make sure it is fortified with vitamin D and calcium.
  4. Do not exclude animal products from the menu. We are talking about lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs.
  5. Add a small amount of fats and oils to your diet (15-30 ml daily). Preference can be given to olive, canola, peanut butter.

As you can see, the diet of a sick person can not be called strict. In the case of HIV, as, in principle, with the flu, chickenpox, respiratory infection, it is important to eat a balanced and regular diet.

Nothing harmful

This paragraph deals not only with the exclusion of harmful food from the infected diet (fried and greasy foods, fast food, sugary sodas, etc.). An HIV patient will have to give up bad habits: do not smoke or drink alcohol.

The fact is that the human immune system after infection is incredibly loaded. The effectiveness of the treatment and the further prognosis will depend on the patient’s immunity. Additionally, it is not worth checking the body's protective function for strength.

Important! Taking drugs for the disease is also unacceptable.

You need to completely eliminate drugs, alcohol and cigarettes from your life

In the mornings and evenings

It is important for HIV-infected people to adhere to special prevention, which, first of all, involves personal hygiene every day. This aspect is very important, because breeding bacteria can lead to the development of secondary diseases, which, against the background of weak immunity, progress very quickly.

In addition, the patient should use public transport less often and visit crowded places; you should always wash your hands after using the toilet and the street.

It is also recommended to exclude the use of other people's hygiene items (toothbrush, razor, comb, etc.) and not to give their things for temporary use.

As we see, a sick person will not have to follow any special technique - everything is quite simple.

Living with HIV: Patient Responsibility

Despite the fact that HIV treatment is often accompanied by a high degree of discrimination of patients, a person with a positive HIV status should be aware of the importance and necessity of antiviral therapy for an ailment. The main goal of the treatment is to reduce the amount of viral particles in the blood of a person, strengthen the immune system and keep AIDS.

In this section, one cannot fail to mention the high degree of responsibility that a pregnant woman with a diagnosis of HIV assumes. Of course, girls with an infectious dose in the blood are not doomed to infertility. However, the patient must understand that the child can become infected during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. Such an unfavorable outcome is observed in 1% of cases, however, it exists.

This also includes another area of ​​responsibility - the safety of others, because HIV is a contagious disease. More on this will be discussed below.

Secure others

The first thing to emphasize is the need for patients to use a condom during sexual intercourse. Such a preventive measure plays an important role in ensuring the safety of others and the infected person. In the latter case, we are talking about sexually transmitted diseases. When a disease affects a sick body, a person’s condition deteriorates sharply, the disease progresses rapidly.

Good hygiene and personal hygiene will provide added safety.

HIV treatment prognosis

In the fight against the disease, antiviral therapy is used today, which is aimed at preventing the development of AIDS (blood disease, the progression of secondary diseases and other disorders) and prolonging the patient's life. However, HIV is not yet a treatable pathology.

With the start of therapy, the patient is shown compliance with medical recommendations. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, combined with drug treatment, gives the infected person strength to fight the disease. Subject to the systematic use of drugs and compliance with medical recommendations, the patient manages to extend his life by an average of two decades.

Modern advances in treatment

There are currently 4 revolutionary HIV therapies.

  1. Vaccine (facilitates treatment, helps to reduce the dosage of drugs, provides an immune response of white blood cells). In addition to the main one, there is also a recently developed second vaccine - Renum, which is also applicable only in tandem with an antiviral course. A good result, demonstrated by the described method, gives hope for the likelihood of complete control of viral particles.
  2. Implant (revolutionary method of taking the drug: the medicine is placed under the skin in the form of a cylinder, from which the substance enters the bloodstream gradually). This approach to treatment greatly facilitates treatment: it allows you to take drugs irregularly.
  3. Blood and bone marrow. There is information about a single case of a complete cure for infection. The patient had blood cancer, he underwent a bone marrow transplant from a donor who possessed one of the main “weapons” against HIV - innate immunity. It is believed that only 1% of people on the planet belong to the group of such lucky ones.
  4. Antiviral therapy. Currently, it is a classic, and once it was a revolution.

What determines life expectancy

The life expectancy of a person with HIV depends on the following factors:

  • type of infection
  • the amount of virus
  • the patient’s attitude to his health,
  • bad habits
  • treatment systems
  • immunity level
  • conditions of other organs and blood (kidneys, liver, etc.),
  • the presence of concomitant diseases,
  • psychological state
  • nutrition
  • lifestyle of the patient.

Today, innovative therapeutic methods have come to light that slow down the development of an insidious disease. Practice shows cases when HIV-infected people restored their physical condition and returned to their normal lives.

Work to create improved HIV tools continues to this day. Perhaps in a couple, three years, scientists will invent a drug that will kill the virus, or at least allow guaranteed to "keep it in check."

The impact of HIV in the long run

Regarding the topic of the long-term impact of HIV on the territory of Russia or around the world, the risk of reducing the life expectancy of the population is paramount. Many infected people die much earlier than their potential life span.

Another aspect is fertility reduction. HIV-positive women rarely give birth (for obvious reasons), however, the number of infected people increases over the years.

Your beauty will remain if you start treatment immediately

The psycho-emotional state of the world population is also under threat. Not all HIV patients are able to fully live side by side with an ailment, not paying attention to existing restrictions. In addition, believing that he will not live long, the patient often commits suicide.

To protect the world's population from such "prospects" at the moment is possible only through prevention, which involves the use of protective equipment during sexual intercourse and other measures.

How to detect AIDS? The issue is not relevant, since in this case we are talking about the thermal stage of HIV. Even before the development of AIDS, a person is guaranteed to find out about his discovered disease. Выявить тяжелый недуг просто: иммунитет человека «сдается», страдает все системы органов (пищеварительная система, кишечник, ЦНС и др.), развивается онкология.

Когда обнаруживают недуг в термальной стадии, можно утверждать, что человек умрет через несколько лет. О длительной жизни со СПИДом на сегодняшний день думать, к сожалению, не приходится.

How much a person with HIV or AIDS will live cannot be said for sure and unshakably. Yes, we are talking about a very insidious disease, which is not easy to live with. Antiviral treatment, although not able to completely rid the patient of the “sore,” significantly prolongs the patient's life.

A patient who wants to live a full life with a difficult diagnosis should understand a very important thing. It is very important not only to quickly respond to the symptoms that appear, but also to immediately begin treatment, that is, switch to receiving antiviral agents. Under such circumstances, the patient has a chance to live for about 30 years (this is if we take into account real cases), however, current forecasts say that the life of treated patients is unlimited.

It is clear that the figure of 20-30 years is voiced by practicing doctors. And it is quite real, because we are talking about a "young disease." And at the moment there is no way to operate with real examples of virus carriers that survived to half a century.

However, in reality, there are no restrictions on the life expectancy of a patient who systematically takes medication.


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When you hear that you have HIV (often also referred to incorrectly as AIDS), the first reaction usually becomes shock, your whole life, work, family, everything collapses in no time. From this moment, you begin a new life - living with HIV. Then you calm down a bit: “What if a mistake?”, You have questions: “Who will know about this?” Will they fire me from work? Is there any treatment? Will my / my wife / husband find out about this? ”

Remember that having HIV does not mean that you cannot have a full, healthy life. With the right treatment and care, you can live as much as if you did not have HIV.

I passed a quick test and did not expect the answer to be positive. I fell to the floor, screaming like an actor in a soap opera, and heartily repeated: "Who will raise my children?" The doctor was shocked, but he very well supported and reassured me. He told me that he knows people who have been living with HIV for over 25 years. I grabbed these words like a man drowning in a life buoy and held on to them for the first months, which were the hardest for me.

Give yourself time

Everyone reacts differently when he discovers that he has HIV, but mostly it is shock, anger, fear, sadness. You may have questions about how you could and from whom you get the virus, and what will happen to you next.

All these emotions and questions are natural. As your knowledge of HIV and AIDS enriches, many questions will disappear by themselves. Choose with whom you could share your problem. There are psychologists in AIDS centers who have vast experience working with HIV-infected people, they will consult you for free and provide psychological assistance. In addition to medical staff, there are currently many HIV organizations, peer support groups and online forums that can provide you with the best possible support. Talking with a trusted friend or family member can also help you deal with your feelings.

The only thing that changed on the day the diagnosis was announced is that you simply learned about what you already had.

You can have good and bad days, but give yourself time to get used to the new reality. Still not so bad when compared with people who suffer from cancer, tuberculosis, hunger, thirst, war, bullying.

Life has not stopped, it continues.

I do not remember very well that day of sad discovery. The only thing I remember was sitting in the doctor’s office when she told me that I was HIV-infected. I remember looking at the picture on the wall, and suddenly, I was suddenly numb, everything swam before my eyes.

Be honest with your doctor

Be honest with the doctor who announced the diagnosis, it may be an epidemiologist, infectious disease specialist or a doctor of another specialty, they will not judge you, like thousands of people go through them, but they will help you react correctly to your HIV status, make the right decisions , and your honest information will help you correctly develop an individual strategy and tactics of treatment, further diagnosis of your body and prevention for those with whom you are in contact.

It is important not to hide your sexual orientation, believe me, that you are gay or lesbian will not be a shock to the doctor, and he will not prescribe herring with milk.

Also tell him when you started injecting, what kind of drugs you use and with whom, do not be afraid to give their last name, first name, address, phone number. The doctor will not send this data to the police, but will try to examine these people (contacts), because Some of them infected you, and you could already infect someone. Whoever infected the doctor will not tell you or they will not, and also that you have “surrendered” them, the doctor will not say. But the sooner they are examined, their HIV is detected, the sooner treatment can be started and the more effective it will be. Another reason why you need to tell everything about your drug and alcohol use is that these factors can put you at risk of developing drug resistance and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you have any diseases, incl. and STIs, it is also important to treat them.

It is necessary to cure everything that is possible so that the body can direct all its forces to fight HIV.

Sometimes different types of drugs can suppress or enhance the effect of each other, so your doctor should know which drugs you are taking.

Do I need to start treatment?

To date, according to official figures, there are no drugs that would completely cure HIV. But the treatment that exists will allow you to keep HIV under control and strengthen your immune system.

According to the latest international recommendations, all people diagnosed with HIV should be prescribed treatment.

As soon as you start taking treatment, you will need to take it every day all your life, so it is important that you are ready for this. Do not rush, consider everything, learn as much as possible about the treatment and make the right decision.

I was speechless, numb, I could not believe it. I could not stop crying ... Six years passed, and my boyfriend, now her husband, stayed by my side. Currently, he is negative, and we have 4 common children with him. Just because you are HIV-infected does not mean you have to put an end to your life. Take medicine and enjoy life. Do not sit, do not let life pass you by.

What to do now?

If you have been tested at the AIDS center at your place of residence, then you can be observed there. If you have been tested elsewhere, they should refer you to the AIDS center at your place of residence.

You can also be offered advice, and you can also contact a group of volunteers, AIDS activists to chat with your own kind, and you will see that not everything is so bad.

You are not alone. Do not rush to get hung up on your feelings. Although the news about the presence of HIV is great news for you to put up with, but remember that many HIV-infected people live happily ever after and successfully cope with HIV.

I found out about this when I was only 18 years old. I was shocked so much that I don’t even remember the next two months ... But today, I’m doing fine, I have a good job with someone who loves me and wants to be with me, and I still manage to get additional education! Finally, I feel that I have a purpose in life, and I want to continue to LIVE! I hope you are all wonderful people! Never give up hope! Never give up! Together we win!

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  • Eleven steps to a full life with HIV-positive status. or A full life with HIV-positive status - is it real ?!

How realistic is it to live a long and happy life with HIV status? And if it’s real, then what needs to be done and what measures should be taken?

How realistic is it to live a long and happy life with HIV status? And if it’s real, then what needs to be done and what measures should be taken? These and a number of similar issues are being considered by many who have experienced firsthand HIV infection. It should be remembered that the health of a person who has been diagnosed with HIV infection largely depends on the state of his immune system, and therefore the primary task is to maintain it in a healthy state. To do this, you need to give your body full, close attention, namely:

· Have a high commitment to treatment, i.e. demonstrate an active, sustained desire to receive the necessary treatment.

· Lead a healthy lifestyle, which means completely abandoning bad habits, stop using drugs, eat right, maintain physical and mental activity.

Below are a few tips that will help to solve the priority task.

How to achieve high adherence to treatment?

Step One: Follow the recommendations of your doctor in accuracy.

If a person finds out about his HIV-positive status and has already registered with the Center for the Prevention and Control of AIDS, it is very important for him to follow the recommendations of the attending physician, who will also be able to give answers to many exciting questions

By following his instructions and recommendations, you can maintain your health in an optimal condition for a normal life.

Step Two: Monitor Your Immune Status and Viral Load

To maintain their health, an HIV-positive person must constantly monitor their immune status. In case of HIV infection, the viral load, which normally should not be determined, and the number of CD4, the norm of which is on average 800-1050 cells / ml, that is, within 40% of the entire lymphocyte population, are of great importance.

Immunodeficiency virus, affecting CD4 cells, reduces their content in human blood. Therefore, the lower their level, the higher the risk of developing AIDS or opportunistic diseases. Antiretroviral therapy reduces the harmful effects of HIV on CD4 lymphocytes, and therefore reduces the risks of disease and death. However, according to research, during the first five years of using ART, its effectiveness depends on 5 factors:

· clinical stage of the disease,

· CD4 cell level,

· degree of drug addiction.

The risk of developing AIDS, opportunistic diseases and the possibility of death increases in proportion to the number of summarized factors and ranges from 5.6 to 77%.

Step Three: Start HIV Treatment On Time

To start ART in people living with HIV, there are a number of WHO recommendations based on the clinical stages of HIV infection.

There are WHO recommendations for starting ART for people living with HIV. They are based on the clinical stages (CS) of HIV infection. ART should be started at a CD4 count of at least 350 cells / ml.

With timely initiation of antiretroviral therapy, life expectancy in people living with HIV is practically limited by their natural age limits.

Step Four: Follow ART

The regimen of taking drugs, ART drugs is determined by the attending physician based on the results of the study and the individual characteristics of the body of the HIV-infected. The more carefully it is respected, the more likely it is to improve your immunity so as not to worry about the development of opportunistic infections and the last stage of HIV infection - AIDS.

Step Five: Get Vaccinated

Due to the fact that the body cannot fully respond to bacterial and viral pathogens during HIV infection, it is necessary to consult a doctor about the possibility of vaccinations against tick-borne encephalitis, hepatitis A, B, etc., of serious infectious diseases.

Step Six: A comprehensive examination of the body.

It is important to regularly contact a dentist, ophthalmologist, women - a gynecologist in order to timely identify and prevent the development of a disease.

Healthy lifestyle organization

Seventh step. Proper nutrition.

The proper organization of the diet significantly affects the state of the immune system. For example, insufficiently thermally processed foods may contain pathogens. Therefore, it is safer for HIV-infected people to take high-quality, natural foods, excluding by-products, drinks with dyes and alcohol from the diet.

Step Eight. Vitamins and minerals

It’s very important for people with HIV-positive status to take medications to help make up for the deficiency of healthy nutrients. The intake of any dietary supplement or vitamin complex should be agreed with your doctor.

Step Nine. Keep fit

With the help of regular physical exercises, you can improve muscle mass, strength and endurance, strengthen the activity of the heart and blood vessels, increase the strength of the skeletal system, eliminate insomnia and lack of appetite. Physical activity should be moderate and must be agreed with the attending physician.

Step Ten Brainwork

If you engage in hobbies, read literature of interest and constantly learn some new achievements in science and technology, then there will be no time for a bad mood and gloomy thoughts. Through active mental activity, mental health will be in good shape.

Step eleven. Rejection of bad habits.

It's no secret that alcohol, smoking, and especially drugs can kill even a healthy body. What can we say about the fact that, due to certain circumstances, it is vulnerable and subject to constant attacks of all kinds of viruses. By abandoning bad habits, you will strengthen the barrier created by the complex effects of drugs, the efforts of doctors and your tremendous energy spent on this.

It is also always worth remembering that it always brings absolute benefit - this is a positive mood, a good attitude towards others and the ability to find beauty even where it seemed, in principle, can not be. So laugh more, sincerely rejoice and then life will be truly full and vibrant!