Posted by: Jan | 2004/09/20



My brother has been tested positive with HIV (one month ago). We are still waiting his CD4 results, but he can not keep any thing that he eats inside.

"Stay healthy to maintain a strong immune system: eat a healthy, balanced diet, get enough rest and exercise, and avoid cigarettes and alcohol." This is a comment from the expert doctor iro of people that has HIV/AIDS

Can you please assist or indicate the kind of diet that he has to follow.

Kind regards


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Jan
I am sorry to hear about your brother's problem. I deduce that he is nauseous and/or vomiting and/or suffering from diarrhoea. In such a serious case, I would like to recommend that he consult a clinical dietitian. Check the List of Dietitians on this Website or phone 082-593-0276 or send an e-mail to or look in your local telephone directory or Yellow Pages, to find a dietitian in your area. The dietitian will assist you by working out a diet that makes provision for his greatly increased energy and protein needs and his present problem with not being able to keep food down. Generally speaking the dr is correct and People Living with HIV/AIDS who do not have gastrointestinal symptoms can eat a balanced diet for long periods of time with good results: plenty of milk and dairy products, fruit and vegetables, unsifted, unprocessed grains, meat, fish, eggs and polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats (margarine) and oils (olive oil, canola oil). In addition these patients can use probiotics such as Intestiflora (buy at health shop) and omega-3 fatty acids (Salmon oil capsules) to boost their immune system. However, your brother is having difficulties with keeping food down, so he should try using liquid meal replacements such as Ensure or the Fresenius range (phone Magda at Tel: (011) 203-2000 or 083-603-2231 and ask her about Nutritional Supplements for HIV patients). Other foods that may help are fruit and milk or ice cream smoothies, fruit yoghurt, ice cream, custard, jelly, pureed soups, and energy drinks. Add milk powder to pureed fruit, fresh milk and/or yoghurt or ice cream to boost the protein and energy content. The important thing at the moment is to get him to eat, so he should eat foods that he likes, that are easy to digest and swallow. It may help to cool these liquid foods down so as to reduce nausea (if he has nausea) and to take small quantities at a time. But it will really help to consult a clinical dietitian because each patient has individual needs depending on the patient's physical and psychological condition, the type of medication he is receiving, attendant complications such as oral thrush, etc., and the dietitian will help to sort out what he needs specifically.
Holding thumbs for all of you.
Best regards

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