This HIV-positive Dominicana says it's all about nurturing a healthy body and mind
Vitals Elizabeth Marte, 45, a mother and grandmother who lives in Los Angeles; HIV positive 14 years
Health profile Viral load: three years undetectable; CD4 count: 567; resistance testing: resistant to Sustiva (efavirenz). She keeps her kidneys healthy by preventing her blood sugar and cholesterol levels from spiking, working with her doctor, watching her diet and exercising. Why she’s at risk “I come from a family where there’s cancer, high cholesterol and diabetes,” says Marte, who works as an HIV educator and domestic violence counselor for women.
Medical history 411 Marte shares her medical history with her doctor, as well as what’s happening at home, at work and in her relationships. Her doctor even had Marte speak with a nutritionist about eating healthier while enjoying her favorite Dominican dishes, locrio and mangú.
Recipe for health Plays volleyball weekly, walks, avoids salt and sugar.
Her advice Latinos who are newly diagnosed with HIV need to speak up when it comes to their health. “Advocate for yourself,” says Marte. “We won’t get the highest quality medical treatment until we do.”