can cause emotional, social, and financial stresses that significantly add to the stress of being ill. Accepting that these stresses are present and getting the education and support you need may help you manage them and improve your quality of life, as well as the lives of your caregivers.
Other Treatment Choices
Counseling may help with the strong emotions associated with an HIV diagnosis and can reduce the and that often occur with HIV. For more information, see the topics Anxiety and Depression.
Reducing stress can help you better manage the HIV illness. Some methods of stress reduction include:
- Relaxation, which involves breathing and musclerelaxation exercises.
- Guided imagery, a series of thoughts and suggestionsthat help you relax.
- , which teaches you to relax throughlearning to control a body function that is not normally under consciouscontrol, such as heart rate or skin temperature.
- , which focuses on any current problemsin your life and helps you solve them.
- Acupuncture, whichinvolves the insertion of very thin needles into the skin to stimulate energyflow throughout the body. It may also help reduce the side effects of HIVmedicines.
What To Think About
Alternative and treatments for HIV need to be carefully evaluated. Some people with HIV may use these types of treatment to help with fatigue and weight loss caused by HIV infection and reduce the side effects caused by HAART. Some complementary therapies for other problems may actually be harmful-for example, St. John's wort decreases the effectiveness of certain prescription medicines for HIV. It is important to discuss complementary therapies with your doctor before trying them.