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Being Healthy
Apr 11, 2009

Dr. Nelson,

I have been HIV poz for a year now been on Atripla for a year now as well meds are doing good. I am taking a basic multivitamin (Like Target brand for men) is that a good one or is there a better one. I read that Hiv poz people have to take more dosage then healthy people is this true. Also I eat a lot sweets(major sweet tooth and also a baker) and put on some weight is there a good diet book to help me shed some pounds and what type of exercise regien should I start. Any help you can give me would be great. I live in dallas tx.

Response from Mr. Vergel

There have not been any good controlled studies on the use of specific multivitamins in HIV after the introduction of HAART.

In a small study, K-PAX, a packet of several pills including antioxidants and vitamins seemed to have an immune benefit compared to placebo. However, the study has not been fully peer reviewed and will be confirmed in a larger placebo controlled study in Canada. You can find more about it by asking the

A multivitamin that provides 200 micrograms of selenium and at least 50 mg of most B vitamins a day is a good starting point, so no need to spend too much money on it.

Two of the diet books that I like the most is the South Beach Diet or the Fat Burning Diet. You may find them at

I also have a sweet tooth that I have to constantly manage through the day. Fruit, chewing gum and Altoids help me keep it in control most of the time. I also try to avoid as much as I can any sodas (even diet ones) and bottled fruit juices since they are loaded with sugar and fructose.

For exercise, I love using these two web sites that have short videos on how to perform exercises

I really believe that doing a light, full-body work out with machines only to start with for the first 3 months makes it possible for people to stick with an exercise routine. Three to five times a week is enough. Making sure that you increase the weight setting on the machines as time goes by is key for not reaching a plateau. Also, variety and listening to music helps me out a lot to combat boredom at the gym. If you can afford a trainer for three months, do so at least once a week to learn proper form and how not to injure yourself. I know a lot of people who end up having joint or muscle problems that keep them from returning to the gym in months. I believe that being conservative and doing light weights for weeks are important until you learn the routines.


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