Exercise is important when dealing with the effects of HIV. Medication can be extremely hard on the body and may cause body changes and a number of other issues. Fat distribution is common and some of the effecst of HIV and medication can be Buffalo Hump (build up of fat on the back of neck) and increased belly fat. Other effects may be neurological issues, body image perceptions and an increased chance of depression. Statistics show that HIV positive people are 30 times greater to have suicidal tendancies than those who are not positive. This in itself is a reason to take the time to take care of yourself. Many people who are HIV positive are on fixed incomes which means, resources may be scarce, it may also put you in environments which are not conducive to healthy living, ie smoking, increased alcohol consumption and people who may not have your best interest in mind.
I go to the gym every morning at 5.00am. While this may seem hard for someone with HIV who is on a fixed income or feeling poorly, gyms generally have people in there who are looking to live healthy. It is a much better choice than sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves and falling victim to depression, people who are toxic, and living haphazardly. Its not easy and I admit I fell victim to depression, and self destruction after testing positive for AIDS and ending up in the hospital with cryptoccoucus menegitis. I was given 2 days to live upon admittance but I am still here 6 years later at 48 years old. I am on disability after working 30 years but refuse to sit down and let nature take its course. Depression is extremely common with people with HIV, it will drain your energy and make you feel worthless. Exercise will increase blood flow, increase your cd4 cells and give you a more positive outlook on life. In the last 3 years since going to the gym, treadmilling 3-4 miles a day and light weight workout, I have increased my Tcells from 300 to 815. In the hospital I was at 102 and 750,000 viral load. Look at your life, look where you have been and think about where you are going. As you think you will become. Life is meant to live whether you are rich or poor and HIV is just another bump in the road that can be managed. I have been positive for 16 years and still can see some hope, so get on a treadmill and get moving, your body and mind will thank you.