Physical Health for People Living with HIV

As HIV treatment has improved, most people with HIV can now live long, fulfilling lives. If someone is on treatment with an undetectable viral load, they cannot pass HIV through sex and will not develop AIDS. This means you don’t have to worry about severe illness and can focus on staying healthy!

Living longer with HIV means that there are new things to think about when it comes to your physical health. A healthy diet and regular exercise are two simple ways to keep your health on track. These can also help you manage other health issues like treatment side-effects.

Taking treatment as prescribed helps keep your HIV under control. If you’re on medication for many years, though, this may lead to some long-term side effects. These can be harder to notice, since they’re different from short-term side-effects. Staying in touch with your healthcare team is the best way to monitor these and bring them under control.

Even though treatment can suppress the levels of to an undetectable level, a small amount of HIV remains in your body. As time goes by, this can cause chronic inflammation. It can have an impact on your bones, organs, hormones, cholesterol and blood sugar – but don’t worry! Many of these side effects are manageable.

Lots of people experience changes with their body as they get older, even if they’re not living with HIV. The effects of aging or chronic inflammation aren’t usually serious issues, they’re just something to keep in mind. Starting HIV treatment early and taking your medication as prescribed is the best way to stay on top of things. If you stay connected to care, it means you can watch out for any problems and prevent or resolve them.

To learn about keeping your body healthy while living with HIV, check out:

A Practical Guide to a Health Body for People Living with HIV – A comprehensive guide to long-term health for people living with HIV. This guide offers practical information on bone health, brain health, cardiovascular health, diabetes, hormone changes, kidney health, liver health and more.

Want more information? Visit:

HIV and Aging – An overview of some of the issues that older adults with HIV might face and ways to stay healthy—physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually.

Fact Sheets on health issues for people living with HIV: HIV-related infections, HIV-related cancers, sexually transmitted infections, hepatitis C.