Healthy diet when you have HIV

Q. I have HIV.  Are there any foods that I need to stay away from?  If so, which ones.  Also, is it OK drink alcohol with having HIV?

A. HIV positive people should try to follow general healthy living advice-a diet with plenty of fruit and veg, limited red meat and processed products, good consumption of fish and chicken. You should avoid uncooked food and risky unusual foods. Hydration is important and alcohol of course can be enjoyed within healthy drinking limits.  Two to three units of alcohol a day should be fine, and binge drinking should be avoided if possible.

Can animal parasites give infections if I have HIV?

Q. I have read that some some animals can have parasites that might give me an infection because I have HIV.  What animals are included in this group and what kind of things should I look out for.  We have both a cat and a dog.  Can the animals be tested for any relevant parasites?

A. Animals may carry a host of infections and everyone needs to take reasonable precautions.  There is no need to carry out special testing and animals should be assessed generally to check they are reasonably healthy and their routine vaccinations are up to date.  Make sure they have treatment for fleas and be careful handling animals with loose bowels.

A. HIV positive people should wear gloves when handling litter trays for cats.  Animal faeces are particularly risky and hand washing rituals are important.  The pet should eat a healthy diet of cooked food and avoid the temptation to kiss the animal!  Cats and dogs may transmit Toxoplasmosis, Toxacara, cat scratch disease, hookworms, salmonella and a wide range of other infections.  Reptiles and exotic pets need to be avoided. – Dr. Laurence Gerlis

Type of herpes

Q. How can I tell what kind of herpes I have? My doctor doesn’t seem to think it is important for me to differentiate.

Also, I have endometriosis – could herpes affect this?

A. A swab or blood test can differentiate type one from type two and it is important to know this because you can then predict the prognosis. Herpes probably does not affect endometriosis. Dr Laurence Gerlis

Herpes outbreak during pregnancy

Q. What happens if I have an outbreak when I am pregnant?

Can having herpes affect my baby before it is born?  What if I have an outbreak when I am due to deliver? - A member

A. A baby can pick up herpes on vaginal delivery, and if there is an outbreak in late pregnancy this may be an indication for Caesarian birth.

Otherwise herpes in pregnancy is not a problem for the baby.  Medication maybe given if the outbreak is severe and after the first three months, but this would only be used in extreme cases. - Dr Laurence Gerlis

Risks of trichomonas; member gets advice from Dr Gerlis

Q. It took me a long time to realise something was wrong and after getting tested I learned I had trich.

Are there risks because it was left untreated for so long?

A. Trichomonas is easily treated and does not cause long term damage – there should be no problem arising from the delay in treatment. - Dr. Laurence Gerlis.