Say No to AIDS

In order to preserve physical health, you need to exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, get adequate sleep, take your medication and vitamins, and consistently visit a doctor or medical professional. Let’s take a look at each of these components.


Exercising Regularly

It is important that you participate in at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity each week, according to the World Health Organization. You can do so in several ways. Walking, swimming and bike riding are just a few examples. You can also join a gym and do various exercise classes. There are many ways to ensure that you get adequate exercise.

Exercise is very important for PLHIV. According to the World Health Organization, exercise has been associated with improvements in the effects of antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Eating A Balanced Diet

You may be wondering: “What does a balanced diet consist of ?” A balanced diet consists of seven essential factors:

An intake of these in adequate portions will do well for your sense of wellbeing. You will feel energized, alert and fully present. In addition, PLHIVs who eat well have a higher tolerance for Antiretroviral Therapy and generally feel better.

  • Proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Water


Many of us underestimate the importance of sleep. Experts recommend that people get seven or more hours of sleep per night. Developing a healthy sleep habit (also known as sleep hygiene) can be helpful for getting adequate sleep. What does this mean? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you need to do the following in order to practice good sleep hygiene:

Sleeping too much can also be a sign of depression. You can learn more about this in the section on Mental Health.

  • Go to bed around the same time every night.
  • Ensure that your room is quiet, relaxing and dark.
  • Remove, turn off, or take off all electronic devices (phone, television, laptops) and
  • Avoid large meals, alcohol and caffeine late at night.

It is important to note here that many PLHIV experience problems with sleeping. Some research indicates that up to seventy percent (70%) of PLHIV have this challenge. This has been connected to challenges such as worry, anxiety, illness or treatment side effects. As such, it is very important that you practice healthy sleep hygiene as mentioned above and take care of your mental health. If you are concerned that your medications are disrupting your sleep, contact your doctor.

Visiting Your Doctor

As mentioned before, your doctor is a critical part of your Dream Team. You can locate a doctor either at your Treatment Site or privately. While it is very important to seek the support of your family and friends, please ensure that you visit your doctor and rely on her/him/them for medical advice.

Medication And Vitamins

As you know, PLHIV are required to take their Antiretroviral (ART) medication daily. This is extremely important. It is also important to take your vitamins. However, before taking any vitamins, please discuss them with your doctor.