Introduction

In previous study sessions, you have learnt about the basic biology of HIV and opportunistic infections associated with AIDS. You have also learnt about the treatment used by people living with HIV (PLHIV) to prevent and/or slow down progression to AIDS. Remember that patients infected with HIV need to follow their treatment correctly and strictly in order to maintain a healthy life. In this study session we will be discussing positive living, which means a lifestyle for PLHIV that is aimed at maintaining their quality of life for as long as possible. To encourage a positive living lifestyle, PLHIV should actively sustain the following practises: be informed about health issues; take medications as prescribed; work as their energy allows; avoid stress; maintain good nutrition; prevent infections; practise regular exercise; and seek regular medical care. Most importantly, positive living for PLHIV also involves playing an active role in preventing the spread of HIV, and you should stress the importance of safer sex practises in this context.

After studying this session, you will be able to advise PLHIV in your community to adopt a ‘positive living’ lifestyle and to make them aware of the fact that, even if they are on antiretroviral therapy (ART), they can still transmit the virus. In this way, you will also be able to provide information to patients who have misconceptions about HIV, its transmission and treatment. In addition, you may consider referring patients to the nearest health centre if you determine that they should receive additional clinical services and psychosocial support. In brief, by helping PLHIV to adopt positive living practises, you will be able to encourage them to live a healthy and good quality life.

Last modified: Monday, 27 January 2014, 6:12 PM