Improvements in HIV therapy are helping people with HIV live longer and more active lives. But living with HIV and taking HIV medications can add to the challenges of maintaining good health. Antiretroviral tolerability decreases with age. If you are starting therapy when you are older you may be more likely to experience side effects and laboratory abnormalities with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). However, taking responsibility for your health can prevent conditions from becoming more serious.
Even though you receive your HIV care from a HIV specialist or clinic, it is still important to have a general practitioner (GP) or family doctor for health needs that aren’t related to HIV. Many GPs also offer services that may not be available at your HIV clinic, but which you may need from time to time, such as support if you need nursing at home, mental health nursing, physiotherapy or podiatry.
As you get older you may need to coordinate your various health care needs and your doctor, PLHIV Person (or people) Living with HIV. This term is now preferred over the older PLWHA. orAIDS organisations may be able to assist you to plan and organise this.
Keep your doctor informed about symptoms you may be experiencing, as well as possible interactions caused by other drugs, including any natural or complementary therapies A broad range of healing philosophies, approaches, and therapies that Western (conventional) medicine does not commonly use to promote well-being or treat health conditions. Examples include acupuncture, herbs, Traditional Chinese Medicine, etc. you are taking.
Healthy habits and regular health maintenance will lead to less illness and a better quality of life.