Health + Wellness

HIV Treatment: Your Guide to Managing Side Effects

hiv treatment

Starting HIV treatment can bring a mix of hope and uncertainty. While these medications are essential for managing the virus and maintaining your health, they can also come with side effects. Understanding how to manage these side effects is crucial for your well-being and quality of life.

Whether you’re dealing with fatigue, nausea, or more serious concerns like high cholesterol or liver disease, we’ll provide practical tips to navigate these challenges with confidence.

The most common side effects you may experience when starting your HIV treatment include:

  1. Fatigue: Schedule extra rest and avoid strenuous workouts.
  2. Nausea: Eat smaller meals and avoid spicy foods.
  3. Diarrhea: Stay hydrated and avoid spicy dishes.
  4. Rash: Use unscented body products and wear soft, natural-fiber clothing.

Natural Remedies for Overcoming Side Effects

In addition to the tips above, you can try the following natural remedies to help alleviate side effects:

Fatigue: Ginseng supplements or green tea may help boost energy levels. Also, ensure you’re getting enough sleep and practice stress-reducing activities like yoga or meditation.

Nausea: Ginger has been shown to be effective in reducing nausea. You can try ginger tea or ginger candies. Peppermint tea or aromatherapy with peppermint oil may also help ease nausea.

Diarrhea: Probiotics, found in yogurt or supplements, can help restore the balance of good bacteria in your gut. Eating bland foods like bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (BRAT diet) may also help firm up stools.

Rash: Aloe vera gel can soothe irritated skin. Apply a thin layer to the affected area. Oatmeal baths may also help reduce itching and inflammation.

Long-Term Side Effects of HIV Treatment

Since researchers have been collecting data on HIV/AIDS only for about 40 years, there are uncertainties about whether long-term side effects are due to antiretroviral therapy (ART) or the virus itself, Everyday Health notes. Regardless, these side effects can include:

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