Do not eat raw meat, raw fish, or raw eggs. These foods can make you sick.
Take a multivitamin and a high-potency supplement of B complex vitamins everyday.
If you've never had hepatitis A or B, ask your doctor about getting vaccinated against them.
Regular dental care is crucial. See a dentist twice a year. The first signs that your HIV infection is getting worse often appear in the mouth.
See your doctor every 3 months. This will allow your doctor to track changes in your viral load and T cell count.
It's important to avoid activation of the immune system. Treat any non-HIV illnesses you experience as soon as possible. These illnesses activate the immune system.
HIV-infected women need a pap smear every 6 months. Pap smears can detect cervical cancer.
If you’re feeling fatigued ask your doctor about anemia or low hormone levels.
If you are experiencing unexpected, unwanted weight loss, consider treatment for wasting.
If you have more than 200 T cells, get a Pneumovax every 5 years. Pneumovax is a vaccine against bacterial pneumonia.
Even if you are HIV positive, your baby does not have to be. Transmission of HIV from mother to child is almost always preventable.
Seek prompt medical attention for pancreatitis, lactic acidosis, Stevens Johnson syndrome, and Ziagen hypersensitivity. HIV medications can cause these conditions. Left untreated, these conditions can be fatal.
T cell count measures the health of the immune system, and it tells you more about your health than viral load. The CD4 T cell percentage is a more stable indicator of immune health than the absolute CD4 T cell count.
Viral load usually, but not always, indicates the speed at which HIV disease will progress. Generally, the higher your viral load, the greater your risk of getting sick. If your viral load is less than 5,000, your chances of getting sick are very small.
Learn to recognize the signs of HIV- related cancers such as Kaposi's Sarcoma or non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The sooner cancer is recognized and treated, the better.
Never take a regimen of only 1 HIV medication. Most of the time it takes 3 or more medications to suppress HIV. Sometimes a pill has more than 1 medication, like Combivir or Trizivir.

An HIV regimen has two parts: the "anchor" and the "background." Use one of the following as an "anchor":

Sustiva Kaletra
Atazanavir (+ Norvir)
Lexiva (+ Norvir)
Crixivan + Norvir
Invirase + Norvir
Fuzeon (injection only)

For "background," use one of the following combinations:

Ziagen + Epivir (Epzicom)
Emtriva + Viread (Truvada)
Retrovir + Epivir (Combivir)
Emtriva + Videx
Epivir + Videx
Emtriva + Retrovir
Retrovir + Viread
Retrovir + Videx
Emtriva + Zerit*
Epivir + Zerit*
Epivir + Viread
Ziagen + Emtriva

*Higher incidence of fat wasting is associated with Zerit.

The following combinations are NOT recommended:

Retrovir + Zerit
Zerit + Videx
Epivir + Emtriva
Ziagen + Viread
Videx + Viread

Your doctor will help you choose based on your treatment history and your feelings about side effects and food restrictions.

Note: Other combinations of medications are possible. Talk with your doctor about what options are best for you.

If your viral load is greater than 100,000, avoid Viracept or Ziagen as the "anchor" medication in your regimen. On the other hand, if this is your first regimen and your viral load is less than 50,000, one of these drugs may be a good choice for you.
Take every dose of every medication everyday, on time. If you can’t do this, stop taking all of your HIV medications. Skipping doses of your medication does more harm than good.
Do not take any medication or supplement, whether over-the-counter or by prescription, without making sure there is no interaction with your HIV medications. Some interactions can be fatal.
Eye care is important. If you experience "floaters" or any changes in vision call your doctor immediately. Some conditions such as CMV left untreated can cause blindness.
If your T cell count is less than 250, or if you have night sweats and fever, consider taking HIV medications. They may save your life.
If your T cell count is less than 200, take medication to prevent PCP, a pneumonia that can kill you.
If your T cell count is less than 50 cells, take medication to prevent MAC, a bacterial infection that can kill you.
Choose a doctor with experience in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. The more experience, the better. This is the most important decision you can make.