XGIMI launches Halo+ portable projector in India at an introductory price of Rs 99,999

XGIMI has launched the Halo+ projector in India, at an introductory price of Rs 99,999. XGIMI says this projector is the brightest portable projector in its category with a luminance of 900 ANSI lumens.

The Halo+ houses a DLP cinema-grade display technique, a 200-inch display screen and a resolution of 1080 FHD, aimed at providing users a perfect movie night experience at home. The projector is fitted with a dual 5 W Harman Kardon speaker so users can enjoy a clean, distortion-free sound.

Image: XGIMI

A unique feature of the Halo+ is the automatic keystone correction alignments, that allow a 45-degree angle alignment, making the projector extremely user-friendly.

The Halo+ also offers Intelligent Screen Adaption (ISA) technology, which is an autofocus feature. It is also embedded with an obstacle avoidance technology, making viewing ideal from anywhere in a room.

Equipped with a wireless connection and built-in Chromecast, the Halo+ gets the Android TV 10.0 operating system. Other features include the HDMI 2.0, USB 2.0 and headphone ports and a built-in, 59 W battery for extended playtime.

After the introductory offer ends, the Halo+ will be available at a price of Rs 1,05,999. However, the MRP of the product is set at Rs 1,25,000 and, it can can be ordered from XGIMI’s India website.

Moderna CEO says vaccines likely no match for Omicron variant; stock markets sink on comment

Stephane Bancel’s warning came as G7 health ministers held emergency talks on the new variant, which is spreading around the world and prompting nations to close their borders once again or impose fresh travel restrictions

Representational Image. AP

Existing COVID-19 jabs will struggle against the Omicron variant and it will take months to develop a new shot that works, the head of US vaccine manufacturer Moderna has told the Financial Times.

Stephane Bancel told the newspaper in an interview published Tuesday that data would be available on the effectiveness of current vaccines in the next two weeks but scientists were not optimistic.

“All the scientists I’ve talked to … are like ‘this is not going to be good’,” he told the newspaper.

Bancel’s warning came as G7 health ministers held emergency talks on the new variant, which is spreading around the world and prompting nations to close their borders once again or impose fresh travel restrictions.

The World Health Organisation has called the risk from Omicron “very high”.

Bancel said researchers were concerned because 32 of 50 mutations found in the Omicron variant were on the spike protein, a part of the virus that vaccines use to bolster the immune system against Covid.

He told the FT there would be a “material drop” in the effectiveness of current jabs against Omicron.

Moderna has already said it is working on an Omicron-specific vaccine, as is US drugmaker Pfizer.

Chief executive Bancel said his company could deliver between two billion and three billion doses in 2022 but it would be dangerous to shift all production to an Omicron-specific shot with other strains of the virus still in circulation.

His more alarming tone contrasts with efforts by politicians to project calm regarding Omicron.

US president Joe Biden said Monday the strain was “not a cause for panic”.

Markets hit by warning

Equities and oil sank again Tuesday after the head of Moderna warned current coronavirus vaccines might be less effective at fending off the Omicron variant, fuelling fears that countries could be forced back into economically painful lockdowns.

Stocks had mostly been edging up after a two-day sell-off that followed news Friday of the new variant, which some observers said was overdone as billions of people have been inoculated.

But Stephane Bancel’s comments in an interview with the Financial Times sent shivers through markets again, as he said the high amount of mutations on Omicron and its swift spread in South Africa indicated the present jabs would need to be tweaked.

“There is no world, I think, where (the effectiveness) is the same level . . . we had with Delta,” the Moderna CEO told the newspaper.

Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta all lost more than one percent while Seoul sank more than two percent.

London, Paris and Frankfurt opened in the red and futures in New York were also sharply lower.

Sydney, Wellington and Taipei closed higher before the interview was published.

The selling also spread to oil markets where both main contracts plunged more than three percent, after slowly recovering from Friday’s collapse of more than 10 percent as demand fears came flooding back.

Tourism-linked firms were among the worst hit with Cathay Pacific losing more than four percent in Hong Kong, having already been impacted by new restrictions on travel to the city, and Singapore Airlines off more than one percent.

“Information on the Omicron variant is sketchy, how drastic its symptoms will be and how easily it can spread is also unknown, as is the effectiveness of current vaccines,” said Kelvin Wong at CMC Markets.

“I expect more downside risk for the next couple of weeks unless there’s more clarity on the Omicron strain.”

Uncertainty

Bancel’s remarks came after major firms said they were already working on a jab specific to the new strain.

Pfizer chief Albert Bourla said testing could show existing shots “protect less”, which would mean “that we need to create a new vaccine” but added that he did not think the “result will be the vaccines don’t protect”.

There remains a lot of uncertainty among traders, and experts said it would take weeks before the full effects of the variant are known. The World Health Organization warned it poses a “very high” risk globally.

Investors have suffered a tough few months as they navigate the impact of surging inflation and the prospect of central banks withdrawing the ultra-loose monetary policies put in place at the start of the pandemic.

US Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell warned the latest emergency posed “downside risks to employment and economic activity, and increased uncertainty for inflation”.

In prepared comments ahead of an appearance in front of the Senate Banking Committee later Tuesday, he also said the virus could “intensify supply-chain disruptions” that have been a major cause of the inflation spike this year.

Oil traders kept tabs on OPEC and other key producers, who are due to decide on whether to press on with their plan to lift output each month in light of the new travel restrictions and the threat of Omicron.

The group had already been contemplating a pause after the United States and several other countries including China and Japan released some crude from their reserves to temper a price surge.

Carsten Fritsch of Commerzbank said “there is much to suggest that OPEC+ will not initially step up its oil production any further” in an effort to maintain current prices at around $70 a barrel.

Howie Lee of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp said if OPEC+ “do pause, it will provide another reason for oil to find a firmer footing”.

With inputs from AFP

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Highlights, Sri Lanka vs West Indies 2nd Test, Day 2 at Galle, Full cricket score: Windies trail by 135 runs

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Day 1 report: Sri Lanka’s openers started strong against the West Indies after rain stopped play until after tea in the second Test at Galle on Monday.

Match officials extended play after the hosts won the toss but stopped half an hour early with bad light after just 34.4 overs.

For the latest match Cricket Live Score, follow the Live Score and updates of the match here

Pathum Nissanka outscored skipper Dimuth Karunaratne to reach his third Test fifty with a boundary driving Jason Holder straight down the ground.

He was unbeaten on 61 in 109 deliveries with four fours and a six.

“There has been lot of spin on the track and it will get worse as we move on,” Dhananjaya de Silva, due to bat at number five, told journalists.

“Anything above 300 is going to be a very good total on this track and Pathum is going to be the key for us,” he added.

Karunaratne was dismissed for 42 when he offered a return catch to Roston Chase, missing out on equalling the world record for most successive Test half-centuries, but de Silva said the captain was unfazed.

“Dimuth is a positive guy. Whether the wicket is turning or seaming he doesn’t care. He goes with a positive mindset and that rubs off to the team as well,” de Silva said.

The West Indies exhausted two reviews, first challenging a decision after a leg-before shout against Nissanka off Holder.

The tourists then argued for a caught behind with Oshada Fernando yet to score, but that too was unsuccessful.

The wicket is already offering assistance to spin bowlers and the track is expected to further deteriorate as the game progresses.

Sri Lanka made one change to the side that won the first Test by 187 runs, leaving out fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera and beefing up their batting with Charith Asalanka, marking the former under-19 captain’s Test debut.

The West Indies brought in fast bowler Kemar Roach and spinner Veerasammy Permaul, replacing Shannon Gabriel and Rahkeem Cornwall.

Permaul is playing his first Test in six years and will complement fellow left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican.

“We felt that with Roston Chase already bowling off-spin that we would be better off with two left-arm spinners,” said West Indies bowling coach Roddy Estwick.

“Warrican was looking good and Permaul obviously is coming after a lay off and he will be good tomorrow, I think.”

Roach, the eighth highest wicket-taker for the West Indies in Test match cricket, was a surprise omission in the first Test.

Play will get underway 15 minutes early over the next four days to catch up for lost time.

With inputs from AFP

Jagadish Chandra Bose birth anniversary: All you need to know about the extraordinary man of science

In 1903, the British government made Bose a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire and Companion of the Order of the Star of India in 1912

File image of Jagdish Chandra Bose. Wikimedia Commons

India today, 30 November, celebrates the 163rd birth anniversary of Jagdish Chandra Bose. He was a physicist, biophysicist, biologist and botanist. Born in 1858, Bose proved that plants have life. He conducted a few experiments to prove plants feel pain, cold, heat, and happiness. Bose invented the Crescograph, a device for measuring the growth of plants.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) recognised Bose as the father of radio and wireless communication.

History

Jagdish Chandra Bose was born on 30 November 1858 in Mymensingh (now in Bangladesh). Bose’s father wanted him to learn Bengali before he learnt English. He studied in St Xavier’s School, Calcutta (now Kolkata), where he developed interest in natural sciences. The exceptional man graduated in physics from Calcutta University.

Career

After graduating from Calcutta University, Jagdish Chandra Bose attended Cambridge University, where he studied natural science. At the university, he was taught by renowned teachers James Dewar, Michael Foster and Francis Darwin. After completing his graduation in science, Bose returned to India and was appointed as a professor of physical science at Presidency College, Calcutta.

He also wrote ‘Niruddesher Kahini’ in 1896, which is considered one of the first Bengali science fiction novels.

Honours and death

In 1903, the British government made Bose a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire and Companion of the Order of the Star of India in 1912. In 1917, he was knighted and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1920.

The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden was named after the exceptional man.

Jagdish Chandra Bose died in Giridih (Jharkhand), on 23 November, 1937.

In 1904, Bose became the first Asian who was awarded a US patent.

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Realme Techlife Handheld Vacuum Cleaner review: Tidying up the house is less taxing, more fun

Vacuum cleaners are so not an Indian thing. We dearly love our house helps and the good ol’ jhaadoo (broom). In any situation, we would be hard pressed to let them go. But that doesn’t mean vacuum cleaners aren’t making a case for themselves today.

I got to test out the Realme Techlife Handheld Vacuum Cleaner recently, and I have to say, I am impressed. What was once a back-breaking chore was made quite enjoyable. Priced at Rs 7,999, this vacuum cleaner is affordable, compact and a low-risk investment with high returns.

The Realme Techlife Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is priced at Rs 7,999. Image: Tech2/Abigail Banerji

Over the weeks that I used it, there were multiple home renovations, furniture being moved and even a building that was pulled down in the vicinity. The presence of dust was constant, and this gadget couldn’t have come at a better time.

Easy to assemble and super intuitive, I spent more time charging it than reading the user manual, and it still tends to run out of steam at the most ill-opportune time. But we’ll get to that later.

The construction

The vacuum cleaner is made up of several moving and detachable parts. Initially, I was quite intimidated by it and occasionally even reached for my trusty broom while I got used to working with this machine.

The entire thing is made of five parts excluding the cleaning brush, charger and a wall mount. The main vacuum houses the dust box and the battery. It comes with an extendable arm that can be added to each of the three heads to make those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies more accessible.

The vacuum cleaner comes with a total of five detachable parts. Image: Tech2/Abigail Banerji

The two brush heads and the auto-rotating floor brush sucked in gunk and dirt like magic. The best part about using a vacuum cleaner is not having to deal with those lines of dirt that refuse to get into the dustpan.

The good

The main selling point of this vacuum cleaner is the price. It is affordable and aimed at the working millennial who cannot work around a house help’s schedule. The sleek, all-white design makes it a modern-looking gadget that I loved having at home. It is also small and thin enough to be tucked away behind a door or between a cupboard and a wall.

The vacuum cleaner weighs in at 1.3 kg. Image: Tech2/Abigail Banerji

Dust is collected in an adequately large bin at the end of the main body. The bin can be emptied with a push of a button and even completely removed from the vacuum for an easier clean up. It has a HEPA filter which can be removed, gently washed and reused.

A high efficiency particulate air filter can remove around 99.97 percent of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns (um).

The bad

Realme claims its vacuum is ‘calmer and quieter’, but I disagree. This thing is loud. While it may not wake up your neighbours, it is quite noisy. Don’t even think of taking a phone call if you are anywhere in the house while the vacuum is switched on. There will only be a lot of Hellos and I-can’t-hear-yous to go with the cacophony.

It also blows a lot of hot air when switched on. This leads to an uncomfortable user experience and makes the handle, quite literally, too hot to handle. On several occasions, I had to give the vacuum a break to cool down even though I had only just picked it up.

Using the vacuum for extended durations can get uncomfortable. Image: Tech2/Abigail Banerji

Another issue was the short battery life. After its first five-hour charging session, the battery would take around 2-2.5 hours to be completely charged. The handy blue flickering lights let you know when it is fully charged.

The 1.3 kg vacuum is a lot heavier than a broom. It can get quite cumbersome to lug it around your house. While cleaning my two-BHK apartment, there were several instances when I would have to either stop or switch hands due to a cramp.

Verdict

Even with the bad, I quite liked the Realme Techlife Vacuum Cleaner. There were a few shortcomings, but they’re not deal-breakers. A handheld vacuum cleaner has always been something we have mostly seen in those kitschy Hollywood movies. While a little late, the Indian market is primed and ready for it. The pains posed by the COVID-19-induced lockdowns make a vacuum a super handy gadget to have today.

There are already several vacuum cleaners of different types on sale, catering to different budgets. However, the Realme Handheld Vacuum Cleaner can be a good starting point for new users. It is affordable and gets the job done without a lot of fuss. Easy to use, the vacuum makes cleaning the house less of a chore and a little more fun than it is otherwise.

Pros
Affordable
Compact
User-friendly

Cons
Takes forever to charge
Runs out of charge quickly
Loud

CBSE Class 10 term 1 exam for major papers begins today; check guidelines here

CBSE Class 10 term 1 minor exams began on 17 November and will continue till 7 December, while the major papers, which began on Tuesday, will end on 11 December

Representational image. News18

The CBSE Class 10 term 1 examinations for major papers began today, 30 November, at 11.30 am. The Class 10 term 1 exam began with the Social Science paper today. The paper consisted of four sections and had no negative marking.

For the first time, Central Board of Secondary Education has kept the format of the paper as multiple-choice questions and students will be provided with an OMR sheet to fill the correct options using only black or blue ballpoint pen. The questions will mostly be based on assertion and reasoning and the exam covers 50 percent of the rationalised syllabus.

CBSE class 10 term 1 minor exams began on 17 November and will continue till 7 December, while the major papers began today and will end on 11 December.

The Social Science exam is followed by the Science exam which will be conducted on 2 December, followed by Home Science on 3 December and Mathematics on 4 December. The exams begin at 11.30 am and end at 1 pm.

All candidates have to bring their admit cards to the examination hall and are supposed to report at 11 am. Candidates also have to wear a mask and carry their own stationery and sanitizer.

Each student is required to fill in their name, father’s name, CBSE term 1 board exam roll number, date, center, subject and school codes in the OMR sheet.

Students have to shade the correct option with a pen and fill the answer in the box given above the circles. The answer filled in the box will be taken as the final answer.

Candidates must note that any kind of electronic items, mobile phones, calculators, rough pads and Bluetooth devices are barred from examination halls.

The CBSE Class 10 term 1 exam marks will be added with the marks of term 2 and the final result will be declared by CBSE.

The internal assessments, project work and practical exams of term 1 will be carried out by schools till 23 December and the marks should also be uploaded by the mentioned date, failing which, the term 1 result will be declared without considering the internal assessment marks.

The CBSE Class 12 term 1 major examinations will begin from tomorrow, 1 December with the Sociology paper at 11.30 am. Class 12 term 1 exams will also be held from 11.30 am to 1.00 pm.

Students may check their entire date sheet for Class 10 and Class 12 term 1 exams, get sample question papers and also download their respective admit cards from the official website of CBSE – https://www.cbse.gov.in/

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Supreme Court says contempt matter involving Vijay Mallya to be dealt with on 18 January

Mallya, an accused in bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, has been in the UK since March 2016

File image of Vijay Mallya. PTI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday said the contempt matter involving fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya, accused in bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, will be dealt with finally on 18 January.

Observing that the apex court has waited “sufficiently long”, a bench headed by Justice UU Lalit said, “We can’t be waiting any longer now”. The bench noted that Mallya was held guilty of contempt in 2017.

The bench, also comprising justices SR Bhat and Bela M Trivedi, said Mallya is at liberty to advance submissions, as are deemed appropriate, and if for any reason, he is not present before the court, lawyer on his behalf can advance submissions.

“What we wish to do is, we will list this matter for disposal in second week of January because we have waited sufficiently long enough, we can’t be waiting any longer now. It has to see the light of the day at some stage or the other and the process must also get over,” the bench said.

The top court requested senior Jaideep Gupta to assist it as an amicus curiae in the matter.

The apex court had earlier dismissed Mallya’s plea seeking review of its 2017 verdict which held him guilty of contempt for transferring $40 million to his children in violations of the court orders.

On 18 January the Centre told the top court that the government is making all efforts to extradite Mallya from the United Kingdom but the process is being delayed due to some legal issues involved in the matter.

Mallya, an accused in bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, has been in the UK since March 2016. He is on bail on an extradition warrant executed three years ago by Scotland Yard on April 18, 2017.

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Narendra Modi to inaugurate FinTech leadership forum on 3 December

The forum will bring together the leading minds of the world in policy, business and technology to discuss and come up with actionable insight into how technology and innovation can be leveraged by the FinTech industry

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the InFinity Forum, a thought leadership forum on FinTech, on 3 December via video conferencing.

The Prime Minister’s Office said the event is being hosted by the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) under the aegis of the Government of India in collaboration with GIFT City and Bloomberg on 3-4 December.

Indonesia, South Africa and the United Kingdom are partner countries in the first edition of the forum.

The forum will bring together the leading minds of the world in policy, business and technology to discuss and come up with actionable insight into how technology and innovation can be leveraged by the FinTech industry for inclusive growth and serving humanity at large.

The PMO said the agenda of the forum will focus on the theme of ‘Beyond’, with various sub themes including FinTech beyond boundaries, with governments and businesses focussing beyond the geographical boundaries in the development of global stack to promote financial inclusiveness; FinTech beyond Finance, by having convergence with emerging areas such as SpaceTech, GreenTech and AgriTech to drive sustainable development.

It will also include FinTech Beyond Next, with focus on how quantum computing could impact the nature of Fintech industry in the future and promote new opportunities. The forum will witness participation from over 70 countries.

Key speakers at the forum will include finance ministers of Malaysia and Indonesia, Reliance Industries’ Chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani, SoftBank Group Chairman & CEO Masayoshi Son, IBM Corporation Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna and Kotak Mahindra Bank’s MD and CEO Uday Kotak among others.

NITI Aayog, Invest India, FICCI and NASSCOM are some of the key partners of this year’s forum, the PMO noted in its statement.

The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA), headquartered at GIFT City, Gandhinagar in Gujarat, has been established under the International Financial Services Centres Authority Act, 2019, it said.

The organisation works as a unified authority for the development and regulation of financial products, financial services and financial institutions in the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in India.

At present, the GIFT IFSC is the maiden international financial services centre in India.

With inputs from PTI

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World AIDS Day 2021: Precautions to prevent transmission of HIV while engaging in sexual activity

Some common ways through which HIV spreads are unprotected sex (sex without a condom or HIV medicine) or through sharing a piece of injection equipment with an HIV-positive patient.

FP Trending

December 01, 2021 06:30:38 IST

Representational image. PTI

World AIDS Day is observed on 1 December every year to raise awareness about Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which is a major public health issue. The day was first observed in the year 1988 and is an opportunity for people to unite in fighting against the virus, supporting those living with HIV, and knowing facts on how to protect themselves.

Some common ways through which HIV spreads are unprotected sex (sex without a condom or HIV medicine) or through sharing a piece of injection equipment with an HIV-positive patient.

If you are living with HIV, you can engage in sexual activity by taking precautions to prevent transmission through these methods:

Ensure to get regular check-ups and begin your treatment for HIV. Taking Anti-retroviral therapy help to reduce infection levels in the body. Also keep a check of Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) by monitoring your penis and vaginal discharges.
Talk to your partner and tell them about the situation. Ensure that both of you take necessary precautions.
Using a latex male or female condom is effective in preventing both HIV transmission and STDs. However, abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent sexual transmission.
Drugs such as Pre-exposure prophylaxis can be taken by people who are HIV negative, in order to reduce the risk of contracting HIV. Post-exposure prophylaxis is another drug that can be consumed to reduce the risk of infection after exposure. The drug has to be taken within 72 hours of the exposure.
HIV does not spread through touching, through urine or through saliva. Oral sex, masturbation and erogenous play are other sexual methods that carry little to no risk of HIV transmission.
There is a very low risk of contracting HIV through oral sex, but in order to make it safer and avoid getting the bacterial infection in the mouth, always use a latex barrier such as a non-lubricated condom or a dental dam.
Cuts and abrasions near vaginas, rectums and the penis can cause the virus to enter one’s body. Hence, keep a proper check on them too and avoid intercourse if there is a risk. Barrier methods such as damns and condoms along with using lube can reduce the risk of cuts around sensitive areas.
Use water-based lubes instead of oil lubes because it can result in condom ripping or a condom tear.
Remember to consult a doctor for your problems and talk to them about prevention methods.

World AIDS Day 2021: Some medical and non-medical treatments to help HIV positive patients

There is no effective cure of HIV till now, but several medical and non-medical treatments have proved to be helpful to HIV patients

Stock Photo World AIDS Day. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Every year, 1 December is observed as World AIDS Day in order to increase awareness around Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) epidemic, to speak against its stigma, and to draw attention to the failures that have led to making HIV a global health crisis.

HIV attacks the immune cells of our body, making the body vulnerable and increasing the risk of contracting other diseases. It can spread from one person to another through contact with certain bodily fluids of a person. Untreated HIV can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

There is no effective cure of HIV till now, but several medical and non-medical treatments have proved to be helpful to HIV patients. Here are some treatment methods to follow if one is diagnosed with the infection-

Medical Treatment

Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) is the medicine taken for HIV treatment. The medicine helps in lowering the amount of HIV infection in the blood, also known as viral load.

Medical treatment of HIV involves keeping the viral load low in the body, along with checking that the CD4 cell count is high. The suppression of viral load means having less than 200 copies of HIV in per milliliter of blood.

Regular check-ups and proper intake of medicines will help in detecting HIV copies in the blood. If the copies reach below the 200-milliliter count, it means that the HIV treatment is working.

Taking medicines for HIV can lead to side effects also, such as nausea, fatigue and diarrhea. These side effects can be combated by consulting your health care provider regarding the issue and taking nutrient pills to boost immunity.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM):

These medications or therapies can be used in combination with medical treatment to counter HIV conditions. Yoga, massage therapies and meditation have proved to be effective in treating overall feelings of anxiety and depression in HIV patients.

Research has also found that acupuncture, the medical practice of placing needles onto various pressure points of the body, can also release body chemicals and give relief in pain.

Many HIV patients take milk thistle, a herb used to improve liver functions, as it does not interact with antivirals. However, there has been no concrete evidence that herbal medicines can reduce HIV symptoms.

Supplements are an essential part of HIV treatment since they support the immunity system. Calcium and Vitamin D improves bone health whereas fish oil helps in cholesterol reduction. Vitamin B-12 supplements are taken by pregnant women suffering from HIV and soy proteins are also taken to help in covering weight loss. Tablets of the mineral selenium can also be taken to improve metabolic functions of the body and to slow HIV progression.