10. Take Your Vitamins
Many doctors recommend their patients take a general multivitamin to supplement their diet, but HIVers can also benefit from supplements like selenium, which has been shown to boost immunity in HIV patients while suppressing level of virus in the body. Other helpful supplements include vitamin D and calcium for bone health, and iron to fight anemia, especially for menstruating women. Still, those with HIV should also be careful of some supplements that might have averse reactions to antiretroviral treatment. Risley says Saint-John's-wort, for example, does not mix well with antiretrovirals or some other drugs, like statins, which lower one's cholesterol. Talk with your doctor, then take your Flintstones.
11. Get Testy
People tend to experience a drop in testosterone levels once they advance past the age of 50, but HIV can also lead to a sharper drop in the hormone. Constant fatigue can be an indication that the virus is affecting your testosterone. While some doctors may write you off as just being tired from having the virus, Risley says both men and women should insist on being tested for chronic testosterone loss if fatigue is a persistent problem. If your levels are low, you and your doctor may want to consider testosterone replacement therapy to help you stay alert.
12. Skip the Sushi
When your T-cell count goes below 200, you become more susceptible to bacterial infections. Risley suggests avoiding raw foods like sushi or oysters, which may contain fungi or bacteria. You should also avoid soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk (Brie, Camembert) and any with mold (Roquefort or other blue cheeses). All meats should be well cooked, and leftovers should be refrigerated immediately or tossed out. Risley also suggests the same cooking method for those who use medicinal marijuana. ''I've heard a few doctors who tell their patients who smoke marijuana, to nuke it in the microwave for 30 seconds,'' he says. ''That kills a lot of the trace bacteria or fungus that may remain on the plant.''
13. Hose Down Your Veggies Even if thinking about all the hands that have touched your produce from the farm to your table doesn't give you the willies, Risley suggests using a fruit- and vegetable-specific spray to clean raw produce. Even better, you can make your own veggie wash, one part vinegar to three parts water. Wash, rinse, eat —what could be simpler?