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HIV/AIDS and the Common Cold

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Can I Prevent Colds if I Have HIV/AIDS? continued...

Also, regularly use an antibacterial cleaner or a mild bleach solution to kill germs on common household hotspots -- telephone receivers, doorknobs, kitchen and bathroom countertops and sinks, and the refrigerator handle. Also, be sure to clean your computer mouse and keyboard with a recommended cleaner.

Check with your doctor about a pneumonia and flu vaccine for you and a flu shot for all family members to avoid spreading illnesses among each other. The CDC recommends that people with chronic medical conditions, including HIV/AIDS and those with weakened immune systems, be among the first to get a flu vaccine each year.

Flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May. The CDC recommends getting the flu vaccine as soon as it is available in the fall so that your body has time to build up enough antibodies before the flu season kicks into high gear. Vaccination before December is best, but you can still get vaccinated in December or later, if needed. The flu shot usually becomes effective about two weeks after your vaccination. Depending on your age and other medical problems, you may only need the pneumonia vaccine once.

In addition, avoid crowds during cold and flu season, because colds and flu can cause serious problems for people with HIV/AIDS or compromised immune systems. Keep your immune system healthy by getting plenty of sleep, eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding stress. Also, pay attention to healthy lifestyle habits by avoiding cigarette smoke and air pollutants.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on August 13, 2014
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