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Being Alive

NUTRITION AND HIV INFECTION: What's a Guy or Girl to Do?




 

Being Alive 1993 Feb 5: 6

The take home message was perhaps most important for providers, to take nutrition and malnutrition seriously as a major and discrete part of HIV/AIDS care if they haven't already. At that general level, the same goes for those of us living with HIV in our bodies. The general awareness may be sufficient to goad each of us who hasn't already done so into an honest self-assessment, reacquaintance with the basic principles of ordinary good nutrition (the four food groups and the like), and initiation of serious conversation with our health care providers about our questions and the development of a preventive or treatment plan.

Self-education is also key in to a self-affirming, self-empowering strategy of living with HIV. The resources listed below may be helpful in the quest.

A final caveat. As I write this, I feel some ambivalence over the potential "medicalization" of yet another part of what I used to regard as everyday life entirely under my own control. I do not wish to cede direct or indirect control over the food I take into my body or the way I enjoy the pleasures of eating to any outside authority. I have heard many compatriots also express displeasure at yet another article telling us "what, how, and when to eat." I do not intend nor would I recommend anyone else to do more in this area than take it seriously, talk it over with those you trust, and gradually inform yourself with the most rigorously cross-examined scientific information available. Ignorance is always weakness, but usable knowledge must ultimately be or become one's own. 



 




Information in this article was accurate in February 5, 1993. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.