If you're living with HIV and Aids, a healthy, balanced diet will help you remain well for longer.
If you feel ill, have diarrhoea, a sore mouth, or have no appetite due to infections or medication, eat as well as possible, and eat extra when you're feeling better to regain any weight that you may have lost. Eating well will also keep your muscles strong, and help your immune system fight infections.
For healthy eating:
- Eat a variety of food.
- Make starchy foods (for energy) the basis of each meal. Examples of starchy food are maize meal or 'pap', breakfast cereals, rice, bread, samp, potatoes, sweet potatoes, spaghetti and macaroni.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit every day to help fight infections. Try to choose different colours of vegetables and fruit.
- Include proteins, such as chicken, fish, milk, meat, dry beans, lentils, peanuts, soya or eggs, with each meal to help keep your muscles strong.
- Include dairy, which contains calcium, in your diet every day, to help keep your bones strong.
- Include sugars, fats and oils in your diet for energy.
- Drink lots of clean, safe water every day. If water comes from a river or borehole it should be boiled and cooled before drinking. You can also drink cold drinks, fruit juices, teas and soups during the day.
- Eat frequent energy- and nutrient-rich snacks, such as nuts and dried fruit, every day.
- Avoid alcohol completely, as it harms the liver and depletes vitamin and mineral supplies.
As your immune system is under stress, it is especially important to avoid food-borne infections by making sure that your food is fresh, and that all chicken, eggs, meat and fish are cooked properly. Also wash your hands after going to the toilet, blowing your nose and before eating.
Our Employee Wellbeing Programme (EWP) is available 24 hours a day if you want to know more about HIV and AIDS. Call us on the EWP number or email us at