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trying to gain weight

Jan 24, 2010

i been living with hiv since birth im 24 and recently had pcp pneumonia bacause my cd4 is 15 and i will be starting a new haart treatment i had lost alot of weight since the pneumonia im 5'3 and weigh about 82 lbs is there a safe way for me to gain weight that can be affective and how long would it take for me to gain the weight back on? i really could use advice my goal is to gain a good 25 lbs or more what is the safest way for me to put on weight but affective ideas would be helpful????? could supplement drinks help like ensure? and adding more calories then normal are there any foods that can boost weight gain like more pasta please help thanks courtney

Response from Mr. Vergel

Dear Courtney:

I am glad you will be starting HAART soon! The average weight gain after starting HAART is around 15-20 % of your starting weight. Researchers call this "a return to health" effect. Since you lost weight recently with PCP, I suspect your weight gain will be more than 15% since you are starting at a deficit and not around your "normal weight". So, if I was you, I would eat three to four meals a day containing lean protein sources (tuna, salmon, grilled or broiled chicken without skin, lean beef, eggs, beans with rice, low fat milk of you can tolerate it, whey protein supplements, etc) , complex carbodydrates (vegetables, fruit, oats, multigrain breads) and good fats (olive oil, almond butter, avocado, fish oils, nuts, etc). Don't forget to exercise with weights at least three times a week. Start cardiovascular exercise when you reach your normal body weight, and continue it three times a week for a 30 minute session that makes you sweat. Ah, and take a multivitamin 2-3 times a day with meals if you can.

Let us know how you are doing after being on HAART for 4 months, ok? By that time we will know how your body is responding to this and if you need "extra" help with some medications to speed up your gain of lean body mass.

You can find more on this on


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