Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) both compromise the way the body’s immune system works to the point that a simple cold could have a dramatic effect on health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people with a diagnosis of HIV who are not currently experiencing any symptoms require 10 percent more nutrients to sustain normal energy levels and maintain current body weight. When HIV symptoms are present or when the disease progresses to AIDS, this requirement increases to 20 to 30 percent.
Unfortunately, some of the symptoms of HIV/AIDS make it difficult for people to consume enough nutrients to maintain energy and a healthy body weight. One of the main problems is the tendency to have diarrhea and to lose weight without intending to. The stomach is sensitive to many foods that could provide the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants the body needs to remain as healthy as possible. Intravenous (IV) Therapy for HIV/AIDS resolves this dilemma by delivering nutrients straight to the patient’s bloodstream and cells. He or she receives the benefit of the nutrients immediately since they bypass the stomach altogether.
Good nutrition is instrumental in slowing the progression of HIV/AIDS as well as improving quality of life for those who have been diagnosed with it. The WHO recommends the following vitamins for combating the effects of HIV/AIDS:
Selenium helps the body formulate numerous immune responses in addition to protecting cells from metabolic damage. It serves as an antioxidant. In a study conducted by WHO over nine years, people with HIV/AIDS with low levels of selenium died at a rate of 20 times higher of HIV causes than those whose selenium levels were adequate. A selenium deficiency can also expose someone with HIV/AIDS to opportunistic illnesses even when cell counts are normal. This mineral prevents unintended weight loss, which is a common effect of HIV/AIDS.
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient and fat soluble vitamin present in many foods from both plant and animal sources. This vitamin is instrumental in maintaining a healthy immune system as well as good eyesight, growth and development, and red blood cell production. Low levels of Vitamin A are common in people who have been infected with HIV/AIDS. This can lead to rapid disease progression and premature death. HIV/AIDS has a major impact on nutrient intake as well as absorption, storage, and metabolism. Supplementing Vitamin A through IV Therapy can reverse malnutrition and improve immunity for people with this condition.
Low levels of Vitamin B12 in individuals with HIV/AIDS can reduce the number of healthy CD4 cells in the body. A study conducted by WHO involving 310 men diagnosed with HIV/AIDS indicates an 89 percent increase in the progression from HIV to AIDS in those who had a Vitamin B12 deficiency. Adequate levels of B12 can help guard against nerve damage and anemia common to this disorder. Additionally, it can play a large role in improving mental functioning.
Vitamin C is a micronutrient that is essential for wound healings and normal connective tissue functioning. For people with HIV/AIDS, Vitamin C can prevent the virus from infecting new cells as well as prevent the replication and activation of HIV in infected cells that have remained dormant. High levels of Vitamin C are also essential to destroy the fungi that causes fungal infections. This vitamin removes toxins from the body and provides the liver with the amount of enzymes it needs to function properly. All of these functions are crucial in managing the symptoms of HIV/AIDS and slowing its progression.
People with HIV/AIDS are often deficient in Vitamin E, which is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrient. This vitamin ensures that cell membranes function at an optimal level and helps to maintain strong immunity. In the WHO study of 310 men with HIV/AIDS, those with a serum Vitamin E level greater than 23.5 um/l had a greatly reduced risk of disease progression. This nutrient helps to increase white blood cell counts and can prevent common skin diseases such as seborrheic dermatitis.
As an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant mineral, zinc is essential to the body’s immune functions. It helps reduce infections, maintain hormone levels in the organs responsible for producing T-cells, improves antibody production, and allows the body to release strong T-cell responses. Low levels of zinc are strongly associated with progression from HIV to AIDS. Receiving an intravenous supplement regularly can help maintain normal cell counts as well as allow people with the condition to maintain or gain weight.