Having HIV is unlikely to mean that you have to make drastic changes to your diet. However, it is important to get enough nutrients to help you stay well. Good nutrition is important during the time before you start HIV treatment. It is also an important part of helping anti-HIV drugs work as well as possible once you are taking them. As for anyone, it’s important to maintain a healthy body weight when you have HIV. Being overweight or underweight can cause problems for your health. Exercise can also help.
It’s not usually necessary for people with HIV to have to take vitamin, mineral or herbal supplements. Large doses of some of these can be harmful, and some can interact with anti-HIV drugs. You should talk to your healthcare team if you are thinking of taking any supplements.
If you are taking anti-HIV drugs it is important to eat a healthy, balanced diet, as HIV medication can cause changes to the way the body metabolises, uses and stores fat.
You can get advice on nutrition from dietitians. Some HIV clinics have specialist dietitians, or can refer you to dietitians, who can help you make sure you eat a healthy diet that meets all your needs, and to make changes to the way you eat if you need to. If you are having difficulty affording food, or buying food that you are used to eating or that you need for a special diet, a dietitian or another member of your healthcare team can put you into contact with sources of help.
There is lots of advice available on eating well and maintaining a healthy weight on the NHS Choices website.