Plus Wellbeing

Is it really possible to live well with HIV?

The answer to this question is yes, absolutely! Supporting people to help minimise the impact HIV has on daily living is central to improving the health and wellbeing and quality of life. Whilst treatment and care provided by specialist services are central to the health of people living with HIV, they should be supported by the wider healthcare system, self-help programs, peer support and other wellbeing support services.

As with other long-term health conditions people living with HIV may face additional physical health and emotional challenges to live well with HIV. There is now greater recognition that quality of life is a vital component of living well with HIV, and this means going beyond the specialist care provided by HIV clinic teams.

Encouraging people living with HIV to make modest changes to lifestyle and supporting self-help activities can have a significant impact on health and quality of life outcomes. Looking after our emotional wellbeing and mental health are vital aspects of living well with HIV, which for some people can pose additional challenges requiring more specialist mental health support.

Our wellbeing pages focus on your healthcare, emotional wellbeing, lifestyle, diet and nutrition. We also outline the importance of improving the sexual and reproductive health for cis and trans people, all of which are important aspects of living well with HIV.

Where next?

Your healthcare

Navigating the healthcare system can be a challenge for many people. In this section we outline the role your HIV clinic team play and explain how your GP can also support your wider health needs. We also include information about hospital inpatient and emergency services, and how your dentist and optician can help.
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Your emotional wellbeing

Looking after your emotional wellbeing is an important part of living well with HIV. In this section we look at the value of developing good support networks, how to improve emotional wellbeing, consider sleep and relaxation time and outline how to access mental health services, regardless of where you are in your journey.
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Your lifestyle and physical health

Making gradual changes to your lifestyle can significantly benefit your physical health so you remain fit and active into older age. In this section we look at your daily activity, exercise, and other important lifestyle changes which can help offset many of the known health challenges some people may face in older age.
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Your diet, nutrition and weight management

Making small sustainable changes to diet, improving your nutrition can really benefit your overall health and wellbeing. In this section we look at diet, nutrition, energy balance, body composition and the importance of moving towards and maintaining a healthy weight which supports and compliment other lifestyle changes you may be considering.
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Your sexual health

Having regular sexual health check-ups in addition to those you may have as part of your regular HIV clinic visits can be important for some individuals and communities. In this section we highlight the potential interplay between sexually acquired infections (STI’s) and HIV. Some STI’s require additional monitoring and careful management for people living with HIV.
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Your reproductive health

People living with HIV should expect a high standard of care and support for their reproductive health and the choices they make. We provide information in relation to your reproductive health screening, fertility, conception and contraception in the context of HIV. We also discuss treatment as prevention and PrEP for HIV negative partners.
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Your reproductive health – trans people

There is very little inclusive information relating to the reproductive health for trans and non-binary individuals living with HIV. We’ve adapted current reproductive health guidelines produced for cis men and women to make them more appropriate trans and non-binary individuals. You can use this information to prompt discussions with your clinic team.
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