Tips about exercise and being positive: HIV and exercise
Exercise is beneficial to every person irrespective of your health. It is important to set aside time for physically moving your body to ensure natural processes that involve the muscles and tissues are functioning properly. While we all need exercise, HIV positive people have a more reason to engage in physical activity. Although medication and antiretroviral drugs
may be enough to boost your immunity or help fight the virus in your body, exercise is crucial. Do not underestimate the body's ability to naturally fight virus and any strange cells to full recovery. Exercise slows progression of HIV and also increases blood count, which is integral for transporting white blood cells to necessary parts of your body. In fact, according to a health research campaign in South Carolina, HIV infected people that exercise for at least four times in a day are less likely to develop AIDS.
Starting off is half of succeed
Starting off an exercise program is not easy. Many people have negative energy whenever a topic of exercise comes up with regards to healthy living. The increasing campaigns and gym centers evidence the importance and need of people in society to engage their bodies in physical exercises. The modern lifestyle deprives the body of its ability to function naturally because of automation of every aspect. We sit and only move to pick a cup or get into a car. It is not easy to start exercising because your body is used to a dormant kind of lifestyle. But you have no option, you need to exercise. You can actually make it simpler for your body.
You do not have to set high goals 'unrealistic' at the beginning. The only thing you will achieve when you begin on a high note is disappointment. Set realistic goals. When starting out in exercise you have to first consider the level you are in HIV treatment. Secondly, analyze your level of body fitness, which determines the kind of exercise you need. Beginning with a highly strenuous activity will not work you will not last more than a week. Choosing the kind of exercise is crucial; begin on a fun finding mission. You can run for short distances consistently for two weeks before advancing the exercise.
Why does exercise help?
Basically, exercise keeps your body tissues and organs active and functional. Although exercise is recommended to everyone, it is more beneficial if you are HIV positive. In fact, if you begin exercise early, you are less likely to advance to AIDS. Yes, exercise can help in managing and halt progression of HIV.
When you run, for instance, your lungs open up thus increased oxygen intake. Also, the heart rate increases thus pumping blood to all parts of the body that activates the tissues and body organs. When you are infected with HIV, all you need is active cells to fight the virus. Active and clean blood around the body helps in boosting the immune system of your body. Besides common need for physical fitness, exercise helps in reducing anxiety and depression, which HIV patients are likely to experience.
Between exercise, how to relax
While it is highly advisable for you to exercise, it is important to when to go out and engage your body in physical movement and when to stay indoors. It all depends with the level of treatment. Some antiretroviral drugs are strong with side effects that would not allow you to go out alone and engage in energy activities. If you feel dizzy, nauseous, or just had a diarrhea, avoid engaging your body in energy depletion activities. You might insist on exercising and actually worsen your condition.
Every day is different for an HIV patient. While you may have been active yesterday and did run for 30 minutes, the next day you might be feeling weak. If you are in the middle of a physical activity and you feel extremely exhausted, do not insist on going on exercising. You might fall and not only hurt yourself but worsen your condition. Be sure to self-evaluate your body every other time before you go out. While it is essential, be wise to know when to stop.
Magic Johnson: NBA legend, career and HIV
The Breaking News & Public Reactions
In November 1991, Magic Jordan got breaking news from his doctor on his HIV status. It was shocking and time changing news for the Lakers star. At the time, the team had travelled for a game in another state when the doctor called asking for an immediate return of Magic. The test was part of a routine physical on Lakers players. Reportedly, Magic was not sickly or with any hint on his health status. Early 1990s when he was diagnosed HIV positive was the days when HIV was associated with gays and drug addicts. It was a depressing and confusing time for the basketball star. In fact, he says in one of his recent interviews of how he thought he was going die when the doctor first called asking for his immediate return. While it is a factor in his emotions, he confirms that it does no longer eat him up as when he first heard he had HIV.
Few weeks later after the diagnosis, Magic became the first celebrity in the United States to publicly announce of being HIV positive. This was not only shocking to the basketball fans but the whole world because Magic was known across the globe. It was a shock and depressing time not only for the family but his sponsors and team mates too realizing the fact that they were losing a legend. The public announcement included a resignation from Lakers where he was a promising player breaking his own records. To many, Magic’s life was a ticking time bomb and it was technically over.
However, Magic had a different and unique bounce to the news. In as much as it depressed and changed his life completely, he did not bow to the disease’s intimidation and fear. Magic continued with his career in other fronts and has built an empire in the industry. According to the NBA legend, the disease was an eye opener and opportunity for him to explore untapped potentials in him. Today, he has significant owner shares in Los Angeles Dodgers, an American business empire.
Retirement as player, then the manager
Magic’s retirement from playing basketball did not mean quit. His skills and prowess on the basketball court could not be left to go for free. According to Lakers owner Jerry Buss there was still something Magic could do in enhancing the industry even while on the outside. Towards the end of 1993, he was appointed as a head coach at Lakers. Typically, great players never have the chance to lead the team as a head coach. While they always have the will and ability to advance to this position, it just never happens. Magic’s story was unique. He actually admitted in one of the team’s conferences that he had always had the desire to be on the lead and feel what it is like to watch the Lakers and make decisions that change the game.
At first, his performance was exemplary. In fact, Lakers won six games consistently. Jerry’s decision wasn’t bad after all as anyone would have thought. Magic had it all it takes. However, this did not last. The ship sank not far from the dock. The team began losing games consistently that led to his resignation as the head coach. Lakers lost at least ten games consistently before Magic resigned.
Magic’s personal life
According to one of a former Laker, Jerry West, Magic did sleep around with different women. It was a common practice for him. Jerry’s autobiography goes ahead to give a range of 300 to 500 women in a year that possibly led to the positive results. The former Laker says that Magic’s diagnosis was not a surprise to him. According to him, it was a routine after every game for Magic to head to the sauna with several women before interviews with the press.
However, Magic denounces these claims as false and unnecessary. According to the legend, HIV was a shock to him as it was to everyone else. He portrays himself as a responsible family man who does not go round sleeping with women. Nevertheless, the way he came out publicly despite being a celebrity and successful in career is the hit.
HIV Basics: Stages of HIV
You may not see HIV symptoms uniform in patients as it varies with individuals. In some cases, the patients do not show any symptoms for many years. With time, and without dedication to treatment, the immune system succumbs to the virus. Although there is no cure for HIV, the available medicine (antiretrovirals or ARVs) prevent it from advancing to AIDs. With the ARVs, individuals who were tested positive for the virus are able to live longer healthier lives as well as limit the chances of transmission and spread. The process involves 3 basic steps with varying effects.
Acute Primary Infection
Between one and four weeks after infection, some individuals may experience symptoms resembling the flu. This is obviously not a reliable method of determining whether you may be infected with HIV. It is advisable to always visit a doctor for testing whenever you feel exposed regardless of the symptoms. For those who test positive, symptoms proceed to fever, body rash, swollen glands, and sore throat. Other symptoms easily ignored are headaches, joint aches, and stomach aches.
As the body reacts to the virus for a few months, the foreign cells spread throughout the bloodstream. The immune system fights by producing HIV antibodies. HIV test may give different results at this point so it is advisable to visit the clinic regularly and use one type of test.
The Asymptomatic Stage
Here, the patient feels better after the first stage is complete. It may take between 10 and 15 years without any significant signs. This period depends on the age of the person and health. Behind the scenes, the cells are active, multiplying, replicating and infecting new cells. This process completely damages the immune system.
The Symptomatic HIV Infection
With significant damage to the immune system, the patient is vulnerable to serious infections, bacterial and fungal diseases. These infections are normally containable and easily fought off with an immune system that is intact. It is characterized by weight loss, chronic diarrhea, fever, cough, skin issues and regular infections.
There are multiple infections and diseases including viruses that can cause rashes; HIV is one of them. Rashes as a result of this virus occur in the first two months after you contract HIV. There is a high chance of mistaking them with any other skin infection as a cause of allergy or other infections. But HIV rashes are unique. It is important to note its characteristics to be able to ascertain whether they are of the virus or not. Although it's not treatable, early diagnosis and management of the virus give patient higher chances of survival with the HIV. Therefore, it is important to identify the rashes as they surface and seek medical attention. Rashes are either a condition caused by the disease or side effects of medications used.
Medication on HIV rashes
Skin rashes are mainly caused by the virus interference with cells and tissues of the body. At the time, drugs used to improve the immune system and fight the virus in a human body react with ordinary human cells resulting in skin rashes. The drugs, antiretroviral, are manufactured by different companies hence the variation in components. While the ingredients are the same, the percentage of each element in the drug may differ to achieve different treatment levels. Thus, some are more likely to lead to rashes while some will not. Here are the three types of antiretroviral drugs that cause rashes:
- >>Protease inhibitors
- >>Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
- >>Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
These details are usually listed on product description of every drug. It is a medical standard practice and regulatory policy that all medicine manufacturers follow. Be sure to take these details in the account and consult with a doctor before using any of them.
HIV rash Appearance
Irrespective of the cause of the rashes, HIV rashes are red in color usually flattened on the body. You will likely experience itching as they start to surface on the skin. The itching might prolong as long as they exist. Typically, the rashes appear on the face and chest. Sometimes they extend to the hands and feet. The small red bumps should not be confused with normal rashes. Consistent itching and rashes on your body lead to mouth ulcers. Whether it is a medication side effect or conditions of the virus, consult with your doctor for a suitable treatment guide.
HIV Rash severity
Most of HIV rashes are mild and are not much of a worry except the itching and stigmatization when in public. However, there are different types of rashes that behave differently on the human body. Others have mild to the extent that you can ignore the itching because it is not a bother while others tend to be severe. Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is one of the deadly rash types that is caused by antiretroviral drugs. The rashes with this condition spread at least 30% of the human body. They are known to cause significant damage when persistent and untreated.
The common characteristics of SJS are;
- >>Quickly developing rash
- >>Tongue swelling
- >>Blisters on mucous membrane and on the skin
HIV Rash treatment
Treatment advancements in a bid to control spread and intensity of the virus cannot be underestimated. Today, people live in a healthy condition while with the virus. Awareness of elements of the virus with respect to how it spreads, symptoms, prevention and possible treatments have reduced stigmatization in society. A few decades back when HIV was discovered in a clinical test, the fear and stigmatization were traumatizing enough to kill a patient. Then, rashes were highly dreaded. This is not the case today. In fact, rashes are slightest concerns of people living with the virus.
Medication is the most common form of treatment in managing HIV rash. You can get over-the-counter drugs such as diphenhydramine or hydrocortisone cream from a pharmacy to sort out your itching issues. The drug depends on the type and severity of the rash thus the importance of consulting with a doctor.
Additionally, avoiding direct sunlight and hot showers can also help in reducing rash size and itchiness. Rashes are sometimes a result of medication change thus an allergy that can be stopped by changing drugs.
HIV Basics: Transmission and Virus Survive
Human Immunodeficiency Virus was discovered in the early 1980s. It belongs to the retroviruses group. Since it is discovery, the virus has spread fear across the globe because of its effects on the human body. HIV attacks CD4 or T-cells, which are crucial in the immune system in the human body. Once HIV gets into the human body, it attacks these cells and completely destroys them by quickly multiplying thus overpowering the human cells. As the HIV cells continue multiplying, it spreads to other body tissues and destroys adjacent cells in the same way. Domination of the virus among body cells destroys and weakens the immune system hence its inability to fight HIV infections. The body becomes vulnerable to the slightest infections.
Without treatment and managing the virus, the immune system deteriorates and illness becomes a common thing to the body. Typically, people without proper treatment develop AIDS, a syndrome of HIV. However, there exists treatment for the virus that focuses on boosting functions and power of the immune system to fight the virus. While the virus has been a killer disease for decades, people are managing to live with it for long years in the modern world.
When HIV is present in a human’s body, it can be traced to various places in the body. It is crucial to notice these facts it is a deadly disease (even with treatment) that you should be cautious and avoid. Either way, any disease should be avoided. The human body and immune system should stay healthy to function naturally as designed. Usually, the virus thrives in mucous membranes, these are;
- Vaginal fluid
- Breast milk
- Semen and pre-semen fluid
- Blood including menstrual fluids
- Rectal secretions.
Relating closely to an individual with respect to these fluids and mucous membranes exposes you to infection. The virus is easily passed through fluids.
Any activity that exposes sharing of fluids is dangerous for our immune system with regards to HIV. Injections, knives, cosmetic tools, shaving machines among others should well be sterilized to ensure no virus lives. If possible, do not share such appliances. Saliva is also a body fluid that can expose you to this infection. While this is dependent on wounds in the two mouths, be sure before engaging in kissing. Breast milk can also infect an infant. The common transmission mode is when you engage in sex with an HIV positive individual.
The casual transmission of HIV is a common fear in society. People coming into contact with spilled body fluids that include semen, blood, and sweat raise questions about whether they are at risk of getting infected. While we should all be careful when it comes to handling body fluids, it is important to note that HIV does not survive for long. There is no exact time limit in relation to the virus’ survival. The fact that spilled body fluids are exposed to air; the moisture content reduces thus reducing viral levels and power in the fluid. While the virus may survive for few minutes if not seconds, its infectious level is zero. However, is the fluid is inside a container, for instance, a syringe; the virus can remain active for an extended period. This is why reusing syringes is highly discouraged with regards to HIV transmission.
HIV virus is sensitive to high temperatures that interfere with its infectious compounds as opposed to extremely cold temperatures. In fact, studies show that the virus can survive in dry blood when at room temperature up to seven days. At least 40 degrees is required to effectively kill the virus. In syringes, the virus is said to survive for at up to 4 weeks. Also, sewage does not pose a threat to HIV; the virus survives for as long as it takes in faces and urine until it can find a body to go to.
The virus has also been recovered from dead bodies. When in cold temperatures in the morgues, which is usually at 2 degrees, the virus survives for at least 11 days. It is also highly sensitive to acidic and alkalinity levels thus it cannot survive in seawater like other viruses.
Currently, HIV is far from the death sentence that it was in the 1990s. In those years, having a positive status meant an end to ones dating life. Over the years, however, we have managed to see a reversal in this trend. Many HIV positive people are actually dating, and the stigma that was associated with the status has decreased to the bare minimum.
There are however some issues when it comes to HIV positive dating. Some states within the United States actually criminalize the act of exposing someone to the risk of contracting HIV. Well, the first step in most cases is disclosing the status. This, however, may be quite hard for some people. It is estimated that there are many HIV positive people but are unaware of their status. In as much as dating may be hard for HIV singles, it is still a possibility and it happens all the time in the current world.