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HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) Infection (cont.)

Other Treatment

Counseling

Counseling may help you to:

  • Deal with strong emotions.
  • Reduce anxiety and depression.

Reducing stress

Reducing stress can help you better manage the HIV illness. Some methods of stress reduction include:

  • Relaxation, which involves breathing and muscle relaxation exercises.
  • Guided imagery, a series of thoughts and suggestions that help you relax.
  • Biofeedback, which teaches you to relax through learning to control a body function that isn't normally under conscious control, such as heart rate or skin temperature.
  • Problem solving, which focuses on any current problems in your life and helps you solve them.
  • Acupuncture, which involves the insertion of very thin needles into the skin to stimulate energy flow throughout the body. It may also help reduce the side effects of HIV medicines.

Medical marijuana

Marijuana has been shown to stimulate the appetite and relieve nausea. Talk to your doctor if you're interested in trying it.

Alternative treatments

Alternative and complementary 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 antiretroviral therapy (ART).

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.

Make sure to discuss complementary therapies with your doctor before trying them.

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eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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