Getting Tested Is The New Sexy!

The key to stay safe is getting regularly TESTED for HIV and other sexualdiseases/infections every 3-6 months and knowing HOW to keep yourself safe. Safe Masti is your one-stop solution for testing clinics/labs, useful information on preventing HIV, and de-stigmatising life after HIV. Let’s start now!

Getting Tested Is The New Sexy!

The key to stay safe is getting regularly TESTED for HIV and other sexualdiseases/infections every 3-6 months and knowing HOW to keep yourself safe. Safe Masti is your one-stop solution for testing clinics/labs, useful information on preventing HIV, and de-stigmatising life after HIV. Let’s start now!

Why Exercising Matters for HIV+ Individuals

by | May 14, 2018 | Living With HIV | 0 comments

For those who don’t make time for exercise, they’ll have to make time for illness. – Edward Stanley

While the above phrase holds true for most people, it is sadly all too apt for those who are HIV+. Staying fit and healthy is an absolute must for anyone who has been diagnosed as HIV+ or as having AIDS. Although there is no cure for HIV, antiretroviral treatment can contribute to reducing the amount of the virus in your body. This, coupled with a healthy diet, can boost your immune system. But did you know that exercise also plays a very important role here? Being infected with HIV leads to a series of fallouts that can all be addressed by something as simple and effective as a daily workout. Check out the below table for the details!

FALLOUT OF HIV/AIDS… … AND WHAT IT IMPLIES BENEFITS OF A WORKOUT… … AND WHAT IT IMPLIES
Compromised immunity Being HIV+ means your body’s immune system cannot fully defend itself against the invasion of viruses, bacteria and other infections. Exercising stimulates blood vessels and ensures better flow of red and white blood cells. A non-sedentary lifestyle energizes our muscles, lungs, and heart, and is a good boost to our immunity as it helps keep infections at bay.
Depression Finding out you are HIV+ is overwhelming, and often creates a sense of hopelessness and depression. This mental state can worsen with the use of HIV drugs containing Efavirenz, a chemical that triggers depressive-like behaviour. Physical activity releases endorphins, which are the brain’s feel-good transmitters. These hormones are your body’s natural anti-depressants. The more you exercise, the more endorphins your body releases, and the less depressed you will feel.
High BP Some HIV drugs cause high BP. Their interaction with other meds such as Viagra can also aggravate the situation. Cardio-intensive exercises and circuit training can regulate high BP. Physical activity will not only mitigate the harm caused by prolonged use of HIV medication, it will also strengthen your heart.
Muscle-wasting AIDS Wasting Syndrome is a condition in which the body loses 5-10% of its weight in muscles. The reasons behind this could be because you are not taking your medication on time. Or perhaps you are not eating well, as your body is unable to absorb enough nutrients, since HIV hurts the linings of your intestines. Progressive weight training without use of steroids or supplements delays muscle wasting. Muscle-building exercises can contribute to building lean body mass and counter weight loss.
Side-effects of HIV drugs The purpose of HIV drugs is to impede the growth of viruses in the body. But they induce side-effects such as upset stomach, drowsiness, mood swings and weakness. Exercising helps regulate our body’s hormones by activating the glands. A solid workout tires us out, leading to a good night’s sleep. And such a state contributes to minimizing the side-effects of HIV drugs.
Poor self-image Fear, anxiety, nervousness, bewilderment, loneliness… all these swirling emotions tied to your HIV status can contribute to a poor self-image. Exercising activates the reward system of our brain by releasing dopamine and serotonin. Increased levels of these chemicals in the body help regulate our moods, sleep cycle, hunger, movement and posture. So, exercising directly impacts our self-image by improving self-confidence, focus and general well-being.

So, for those of us who are HIV+, exercising should become a non-negotiable item in our daily routines. And for those of us who are HIV-, practicing safe sex should be an absolute no-brainer!

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