Another aspect of the infection people need to be aware of is the drugs commonly used to combat HIV and AIDS have very debilitating, life changing side effects. The antiretroviral medications are very helpful in the fight against HIV and AIDS, but they are not a walk in the park. Disease sufferers talking these medicines experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle and joint pain, stomach pain, liver and kidney changes. Some develop lactic acidosis which if not caught and treated leads to death. There is also a weakness that persists, sapping the disease sufferer of their energy. There are times HIV and AIDS sufferers are too weak to get out of bed.
It is important to eat a healthy diet, engage in moderate exercise, sleep well, avoid illegal narcotics, do not get drunk (keep alcohol consumption to a bare minimum, avoiding it would be better, as it interacts with the medication and doesn't bolster the immune system) and keep stress levels as low as possible. There's also a risk to those who have unprotected sex with other infected people, as they may encounter a somewhat different strain of the virus than the one they have and worsen their own health and life expectancy.
As stated in past columns, super strains of HIV and AIDS have emerged. San Francisco, the gay capital of America, is where the most recent and potent super strains have appeared. Some of said super strains resist antiretroviral medications that have successfully helped many disease sufferers. Some of these strains give the appearance that people are contracting a variation of full blown AIDS, which is a more serious medical emergency. Some of the strains are morphing and strengthening. Therefore, be responsible with your behavior.
Don't adopt the attitude and lifestyle choice of being promiscuous (gay or straight) with the mindset you'll pop a few pills a day if you get HIV or AIDS and everything will be hunky dory. It is a difficult and traumatic journey that disease sufferers would rather not have happen to them. Nonetheless, disease sufferers must not give up. Continue in hope.