LESSON _6 _ii_

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					LESSON #6 (Part ii)

HIV & AIDS Treatment

Last week we discussed conventional HIV & AIDS treatment; that is, Antiretroviral Drugs.
Today we will be looking at alternative treatment.

Remember that ARVs are only advised during certain situations; that is, when a person’s
CD4 count is less than 200 T-helper cells per cubic millimetre of blood or when a person
presents with Opportunistic Infections.

What if my CD4 count is good and I do not have Opportunistic Infections?

 ARVs are not recommended when a person is in good health. This is taking into
consideration the adherence that is required when a person goes on these drugs.
Discontinuing the treatment predisposes a person to developing resistance towards the

the best course of action is for a person to look at and improve their lifestyle. That is, a
person needs to exercise, have positive thoughts, join a support group, eat healthy food
and learn to manage stress.

Alternative treatment can happen on different levels:


   ♦   Exercise – exercise does not mean that one needs to join a gym. Walking around
       your block daily, working in the garden, playing with children, all these are types
       of exercises that do not cost you anything but will keep you energized.
   ♦   Diet (Nutrition) – changing your diet means that one needs to look at the type of
       food they are currently eating to see if they add value to your general wellbeing.
       For example, you need to significantly cut down on junk food, processed food
       and sugars because these things give you elevated energy levels but soon after
       your energy levels will come crashing down and leave you exhausted. On the
       plus side, junk food usually has a lot of calories, which may help you gain weight.
       You can therefore enjoy these types of foods occasionally as long as they are in
       addition to, not instead of, healthy foods. Alcohol should be taken in moderation
       and so is smoking.
   ♦   Supplements – Several vitamin and mineral deficiencies are known to affect
       immune function. In addition, deficiencies of vitamin A, B1, B6, B12, folate, C, E,
       iron, zinc and selenium have all been reported in AIDS patients. The use of
       multivitamin supplementation in HIV-infected patients has been associated with a
       decreased risk of disease progression.

       So, take a multivitamin and mineral supplement, especially if you are having
       trouble eating. But there is no evidence to support the use of megadoses of
       vitamins and minerals (i.e. more than 10 times the RDA), and excessive intakes

       of vitamin A, E, selenium and zinc have been shown to actually suppress the
       immune system.

       Please keep in mind that Micronutrient supplements are not an alternative to
       comprehensive HIV treatment including ARV therapy for people who need

       For more information on the benefits of supplements such as garlic,
       beetroot, onins, etc, go to

Mind & Soul

   ♦   Praying – Most people find answers or comfort in prayer. For them prayer is
       relaxing and gives hope.
   ♦   Meditating – According to the teachings of Buddha, meditation has a number of
           - Meditation increases a positive outlook on life
           - It reduces stress and anxiety
           - It controls the mind and brings inner peace
           - It improves our concentration
           - It helps us develop better relationships
           - It teaches us to overcome our delusions such as anger, attachment and
           - It helps us maintain greater physical health
   ♦   Counselling and Support Groups – counseling helps people deal with their loads
       by talking them through with someone. Fears, anxieties and uncertainties are
       addressed during these sessions. Support groups also help you realize that there
       are other people going through the same problem you’re experiencing. People
       also learn skills they can use to deal with different problems.



SAMDI. Managing HIV & AIDS in the Workplace presentation.




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