Good nutrition from a healthy diet is important for people living with HIV, as eating well helps keep you healthy and is important in the maintenance of a strong immune system. Benefits of good nutrition include reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes, maintaining energy levels and a health weight and actually feeling well.
Although there is no special diet for HIV, some people can experience side effects from the virus or treatment. Your diet can often play a part in managing these side effects. There is no one set of symptoms that people experience when living with HIV and an individualised assessment with the dietitian can help address what is relevant to you.
The HIV Outreach Team has two dietitians who you can talk to about up to date, individual and accurate information about nutrition.
Dietitians can help you with:
- unwanted weight loss or weight gain
- managing medication side effects
- poor appetite
- lipodystrophy (body shape changes)
- increased cholesterol levels
- bowel issues e.g. constipation or diarrhea
- individualised menu planning designed to your taste and budget
- practical cooking sessions
- creating achievable goals
- understanding nutrition and food labels.
THE HIV Outreach Team also provides a Dietetic service to HIV services outside central Sydney. Clients are able to be referred for a nutrition review at their own treating clinic in the St George Hospital and Wollongong areas.