HIV Tools & Resources

Updated:Jun 24,2015

Wellness Checklist

Wellness Checklist Thumbnail

We all know that eating healthy, getting active and maintaining a healthy weight are important for your heart health, but if you have HIV you have even more reasons to set cardiovascular goals for yourself.

We've designed a checklist to help you understand and reach your goals for wellness. To achieve your healthiest life and to reduce the amount of medication you might need, you can target these 7 areas for cardiovascular wellness and 2 areas for HIV wellness. We have also provided a PDF version of the checklist that you can print and take it with you to your doctor visits so you can plan and customize your goals with your healthcare provider.

Test Yourself

Take our HIV quiz and find out where you can benefit from learning more about healthy living with HIV.

Personal Stories

Mychael Patterson Looking out Window

Hear Mychael Patterson, an HIV patient and behavioral change coach, encourage people to reach wellness goals, take personal responsibility, and live a smoke-free life.

  • One Man's Journey Toward Wellness (3:01)
    Mychael Patterson was diagnosed with HIV in 1997. In this video, Mychael describes how he and some of his co-workers have joined together to pursue better health and positive life changes. Gain encouragement from his story and discover how you can enjoy these benefits, too.
  • The Decision to Live Smoke-Free (3:54)
    Mychael Patterson describes his road to smoke-free living. His encouraging words are not only helpful for smokers, but for anyone battling the pull of addictive behaviors. Watch, be encouraged, and make changes in your own life, one day at a time.
  • Living with HIV: A Personal Transformation (5:52)
    Mychael Patterson knows from experience that change is difficult, and he talks from the heart about what it took for him to realize the cost of his own risky behaviors. Mychael describes with honesty and candor how he went from victim-living with HIV to an empowered lifestyle, taking full ownership and responsibility for his choices and his health.

About the Video Presenters:

  • Paul DenOuden, M.D.
    Dr. DenOuden served as the California Regional Medical Director for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. He is a practicing HIV specialist and recently relocated from the Los Angeles, CA area to Portland, Oregon.
  • Marshall Glesby, M.D., Ph.D.
    Dr. Glesby is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College as well as a practicing physician for HIV patients in New York City.
  • Lori Mosca, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.
    Dr. Mosca is a Preventative Cardiologist and Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. She also serves as the Director of Preventative Cardiology at New York Presbyterian Hospital and participates in numerous study projects to advance public wellness. She also served a term as the American Heart Association™'s Chair for the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention.
  • Mychael Patterson
    Mychael Patterson, living with HIV since 1997, also serves as a Behavior Intervention Specialist and Teacher at AIDS Arms, Inc., in Dallas, Texas.
  • Salim S. Virani, M.D.
    Dr. Virani is Assistant Professor of Vascular Medicine and Cardiology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He is also a staff cardiologist at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston, Texas. He devotes approximately half of his time to seeing patients and half to research projects.

HIV Health Education Videos

  • Living Well With HIV (1:51)
    Listen as Dr. Paul DenOuden, clinical HIV specialist, provides you with an overview of wellness planning for people living with HIV.
  • HIV and CV Wellness (2:41)
    Dr. Paul DenOuden, clinical specialist in HIV, explains why cardiovascular disease is now a critical issue for people living with HIV. Learn why these risks are higher and what you can do to live a heart-healthier life.
  • Why Does HIV Increase CV Risks? (3:56)
    Listen as cardiologist Dr. Salim Virani teaches about cardiovascular risk factors, and how you can assess your risks and plan for health improvement.
  • How is HIV Related to Atherosclerosis? (2:51)
    Watch this video and listen to Dr. Salim Virani, a vascular specialist, explain how atherosclerosis happens and why people living with HIV are at higher risk
  • Secrets of Goal-Setting Success (2:48)
    Cardiologist Dr. Salim Virani offers motivation and success strategies for anyone who sets goals, but often fails to enjoy the results of meeting the goals. What are the key ingredients for goal-setting success?
  • Why Set Goals? (0:54)
    We often take our health for granted and fail to realize the importance of setting goals for maintaining our good health. Cardiologist and wellness expert Dr. Lori Mosca reflects on the importance of setting and owning our goals for wellness.
  • The Basics of HIV Management (2:37)
    Your first goal for healthy living with HIV are to take care of your T-cell count and your viral load. Listen as Dr. Paul DenOuden, HIV clinical specialist, explains why these numbers matter and how you can work with your doctor to reach your goals.
  • Your Heart and HAART Therapy (1:41)
    Do HAART therapies increase your risk for cardiovascular disease? As you partner with your doctor, these are important questions to consider as part of choosing the right treatment method. Listen to Dr. Salim Virani, clinical cardiologist, explain the pros and cons of HAART therapy and what can be done if you experience cardiovascular issues.
  • Will I Need Additional Medication? (4:40)
    Dr. Marshall Glesby, clinical researcher and HIV practitioner, discusses what you can do to reduce your need for additional medications. He also provides insight and when a person might consider additional medication to reach the goals for wellness.
  • Understanding Risk Reduction (2:17)
    Risk calculations are not simply a list of "health problems." When you understand your risk chart, you can see the measurable changes you can make focusing on a goal. Listen to cardiologist Dr. Salim Virani as he provides a simple and clear illustration of what you can do to improve your health and quality of life.
  • Do You Know Your Wellness Goals? (2:59)
    Dr. Marshall Glesby, HIV researcher and practitioner, explains how you can incorporate wellness goals into your daily lifestyle, and make good health a part of your daily routine.
  • HIV and Your Smoking Risks (2:41)
    Dr. Marshall Glesby, HIV researcher and clinical practitioner offers tangible reasons for every person living with HIV to consider doing whatever it takes to put down the cigarettes and start living a healthier, smoke-free life.
  • What Can I Do When Living with HIV is Overwhelming? (2:06)
    Dr. Paul DenOuden, clinical specialist in HIV, understands what it takes to manage life with chronic health problems. Sometimes life just feels too overwhelming. However, even during those times, there is hope. When moving forward is difficult, you don't have to give up. Instead, you can slow down, simplify the tasks, and move forward in manageable steps.
  • Working With Your Doctor (1:43)
    Dr. Marshall Glesby, clinical researcher and HIV practitioner, and Dr. Lori Mosca, preventative cardiologist, explain how you can make the most of your relationship with your healthcare team. Which goals are your responsibility and which goals are best managed by your healthcare team? Learn more and begin enjoying the benefits of better health.

HIV Wellness Numbers

Once your HIV is diagnosed, your immune system health will depend on two important indicators:
  T-Cell Illustration   Blood Drop and Magnifying Glass Illustration
  Your CD4s
  Your viral load
(the amount of virus in the bloodstream)

Learn about what these numbers mean and the role they play in your health and wellness.

My Life Check Assessment

To find out where you stand with Life's Simple 7®, take the My Life Check® Assessment. In just a few minutes, you can get your own personal heart score and life plan.

Life's Simple 7

Live better with Life's Simple 7® - seven easy steps you can take to improve your health.

Keeping a Healthy Outlook

Sneakers Walking on Pavement
Sometimes managing chronic health conditions can seem overwhelming. Learn how to simplify the task and positively manage your health.

HIV Wellness Checklist

People living with HIV have even more reason to take care of cardiovascular factors for good health.Wellness Checklist Thumbnail

By using this simple checklist, you can know exactly where you stand according to the guidelines for wellness.

As with all guidelines, your health practitioner may have solid reasons for prescribing different personal wellness goals for you.

HIV Health Management

Doctor and Patient
With a good medical team and a desire to reach wellness goals, people with HIV can have a virtually normal lifespan.

Take the HIV Wellness Quiz

Test your knowledge and find out where you need to learn more about reaching your healthiest potential in life.