Q and A

Question

Will occasional unhealthiness effect my CD4 count?

I’m a 16 year old teenager who basically has lived with HIV my whole life.
As a teenager I generally do crazy stuff, smoking, drinking and not eating healthy not that I do that often… My question is are these things affecting my CD4 count badly?…Ohh and other thing is a a must to take my meds at certain time each day?

Answer

Hi,

Thanks for getting in touch.

How are handling living with HIV? Do you have anyone supporting you or do you now anyone else who is positive and the same age?

Being a teenager usually involves testing your boundaries or trying new things. HIV shouldn’t hold you back from anything but you are right to consider the effect these activities can have on your health.  For instance, smoking, drinking and eating unhealthy food aren’t good for your overall health, but won’t directly effect your CD4 count. If those activities become less occasional and more like habit then the effect on your overall health will not be good for your HIV. Regular drinking can make adhering to treatment more difficult as an example. Everything in moderation is a well known approach but also very useful.

As for taking your meds at a certain time of the day, this depends on what meds you are taking. Do you know the name of them?

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