A person who has
HIV has difficulty fighting off other infections. You
can help protect the person from infections.
- Avoid close contact with people who have
contagious illnesses until their symptoms have disappeared. This includes
illnesses such as colds, the
flu, or stomach flu.
- If you have a cold or
flu, wear a surgical-type mask and
wash your hands before approaching or touching the person with
- Get an annual flu vaccine to reduce the chance of getting the flu
and infecting others.
- If you have skin infections such as boils,
cold sores or fever blisters (herpes simplex), or shingles (herpes zoster), avoid close contact with the person
who has HIV.
- Ask your doctor whether you should have any boosters
or shots for measles, mumps, or rubella, because these shots may not have been
available when you were a child.
- Get the special form of
polio shot known as "Salk" or "inactivated virus"
vaccine if you need a polio shot. Do not use the oral "Sabin" form of the
- Contact the doctor of the person who has HIV within 24
hours if the person has not had:
measles vaccine and he or she is exposed to
measles. A medicine is available that, if given promptly, may help prevent
- Chickenpox and
he or she is exposed to chickenpox or
shingles. Chickenpox can make a person with HIV very
sick. For more information, see the topic
Chickenpox (Varicella) or Shingles.
- Learn how to handle food properly. This can help prevent a food-borne infection. For more information, see the topic Food Poisoning and Safe Food Handling.
- Avoid having
a person who has HIV clean pet litter or pet living areas, such as cages and
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
April 05, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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