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Wasting diseases don't allow the body to process nutrition properly and can cause weight loss and illness. AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, is a disease of the immune system that starts with HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV attacks the body's immune system and ultimately, destroys the body's ability to fight off infection. Ultimately, AIDS patients die from other diseases such as pneumonia or cancer. The weakened immune system caused by AIDS may cause weight loss or diarrhea. To combat this, a diet high in protein and calories can help you maintain your weight. Some patients engage in smoking marijuana, legal for people with AIDS in some places, which eases nausea and helps combat AIDS-related wasting. Additionally, vitamin supplements and calorie supplements are advisable because AIDS patients are likely to develop nutritional deficiencies.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|