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Vegetarian with AIDS
Jan 8, 2005

I know most docs aren't schooled in Nutrition, but I thought I'd ask anyway. Due to my religious beliefs and practices I an a lacto-vegetarian (i eat cheese and milk products but NO slaughtered animals for meat). I consume only one full meal per day (evenings) and two pieces of toast with peanut butter in the mornings. THis is an ancient practice of my religion to prevent glutony and indulgence. I don't necessarily feel fatigued (beyond the fact that I have AIDS, emphysema and Tourette's and their accompanying fatigue), yet my VL and CD4 counts are roller coaster rides over the past 4 years. I have had AIDS since diagnosis (with 106 Ts and 50K vl four years ago -- currently 190 Ts and 95K vl). I will not surrender my religious beliefs by eating slaughtered animals but is there a possibility that my lacto-vegetarian lifestyle is harming this body? Is there any additional advice you could give without compromising my vegetarianism?

Response from Dr. Henry

I have cared for many HIV/AIDS patients who were vegetarians and they have done fine. I recommend a good multivitamin with minerals (1-2 Centrum like vitamins) daily along with an effort to maintain good protein intake. KH

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