Answer: Dear salii,
The most effective
initial treatment for people that are diagnosed with HIV is highly
active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). HAART is a combination of drugs
to treat HIV. Antiretroviral drugs can increase CD4+ cell counts (white
blood cells that protect the body against infection) and decrease
viral load (a measurement of how much HIV is present in your blood).
HAART drugs that
are most often used to treat HIV infection include:
" Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs)
" Nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs)
" Nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors
" Protease inhibitors (PIs)
" Fusion inhibitors
There are potential benefits and risks of early treatment; you should
discuss all the issues with your doctor before starting HAART.
For ongoing treatment
of HIV one should have regular appointments with a doctor to monitor
the amount of virus in the blood (viral load) and CD4+ cell counts.
This is done by taking blood tests every 3 to 4 months that show how
much virus is in the blood and how it is affecting the immune system.
The results of these tests will help monitor the infection and help
making the decision about starting antiretroviral drugs.
To make your immune
system strong, make sure you eat: Protein-rich foods, a diet high
in fruits and vegetables such as Citrus fruits for vitamin C and vegetable
oils for vitamin E, spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots which supply
beta carotene. Fish, poultry, lean meat, low-fat dairy products, cereals
and legumes (peas, lentils, beans) are all good sources of minerals.
Foods such as cheese, eggs or liver, which supply vitamin A.