- Do people living with HIV need to avoid any activities?
- Should people living with HIV be aware of what they eat?
- Will the lives be different for people living with HIV?
- Can HIV be transmitted by sharing toilets and eating together?
- Is influenza fatal to people living with HIV?
- Will an infected person loss weight?
- Is the cost of treatment covered by insurance?
- Can both people living with HIV have unsafe sex?
- Is disclosure necessary when travelling overseas?
- Is there anything that people living with HIV need to be aware of when they immigrate to another country?
- Is it necessary to disclose HIV status to employers?
- Can employers dismiss their worker for having HIV?
Casual contacts like eating together, kissing or hugging cannot transmit HIV. A healthy lifestyle and exercise help to maintain the immune system. People living with HIV should avoid alcohol as it has harmful effects on the liver and kidneys.
People living with HIV should not have alcohol and grapefruits before and after certain kinds of medication. Please seek advise from the doctor for more information.
The adverse side effects of medication may cause minor inconveniences, but infected person are normally the same as others. A healthy lifestyle and exercise help to maintain the immune system.
Up to now, HIV infection caused by saliva, tears, sweat, urine or feces has not been reported. The virus count of HIV existing in these bodily fluids is too insignificant to cause infection. Therefore, HIV cannot be transmitted by sharing toilets and eating together.
In 1996, Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (known as Cocktail Therapy) was implemented. It inhibits virus replication and keeps the immune system healthy. Mortality associated with HIV infection has been greatly reduced. Although HIV infection is a chronic disease, people under HIV treatment can also live a healthy and productive life.
If one do not know they are infected and do not receive any treatment, their immune system will be impaired and will have higher risk of complications. Impact on infected person’s lives may be serious if they get other infections at the same time. Doctor would normally treat the complications first, then use cocktail therapy to inhibit virus. HIV treatment helps people living with HIV to stay healthier longer. Therefore, it is important to have regular HIV testing and receive treatment as soon as possible.
The weight of people living with HIV depends on the opportunistic infections inside of their body. If the opportunistic infection has been treated successfully, the immune system and weight can be recovered under cocktail treatment.
Insurance bought before being diagnosed to AIDS generally does not cover any conditions caused by infection. It is not necessary for applicants to disclose their HIV status. People living with HIV can buy saving or critical illness insurance after being diagnosed because some life and medical insurance may not cover AIDS infection. However, terms and conditions vary between different insurers and policies may change from time to time. Applicants should have a clear understanding before making any decision.
Safe sex is still essential between people living with HIV in order to prevent cross infection, virus mutation and resistance, which would influence the treatment. Unsafe sex also increases the infection rate of other sexually transmitted diseases. Thus, it is more important for people living with HIV to protect themselves.
There are different restrictions for different countries. Please contact the specific immigration department for more information. Alternatively, visit http://www.hivtravel.org/ about HIV travel and residence restriction.
People living with HIV should understand the immigration restrictions of their destination. If there are no restrictions, understand that country’s health system, make sure medical treatments are available and obtain a medical report from the current doctor for following up in the destination. Upon security check, you may need a medical certificate or letter from the doctor to prove that the medicines are prescribed and for personal use.
Unless the HIV status affects the ability to perform their job, i.e. travel restriction, people living with HIV are under no legal obligation to disclose their status to their employer because the infection does not affect productivity normally.
HIV cannot be transmitted by day-to-day activities. It is unlawful under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance for an employer to dismiss their worker unless it is proven that the infection affects the worker’s productivity.