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HIV & AIDS Health Center

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You Can Prevent Cryptosporidiosis

How Can I Protect Myself from Crypto?

Yes, but no drug has been found yet to cure it. Some drugs, such as paromomycin, may reduce the symptoms of crypto, and new drugs are being tested. If you think you have crypto, or if you just have diarrhea, talk with your health care provider about testing and treatment. Diarrhea can cause dehydration. You should drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Oral rehydration powders and sports-ade drinks can also help prevent dehydration.

How Can I Protect Myself from Crypto?

You can reduce your risk of getting crypto. The more steps you take, the less likely you are to get crypto. These actions will also help protect you against other diseases.

1. Wash your hands. Washing your hands often with soap and water is probably the single most important step you can take to prevent crypto and other illnesses.Always wash your hands before eating and preparing food. Wash your hands well after touching children in diapers; after touching clothing, bedding, toilets, or bed pans soiled by someone who has diarrhea; after gardening; any time you touch pets or other animals; and after touching anything that might have had contact with even the smallest amounts of human or animal stool, including dirt in your garden and other places. Even if you wear gloves when you do these activities you should still wash your hands well when you finish. Children should be supervised by adults to make sure they wash their hands well.

2 . Practice safer sex. Infected people may have crypto on their skin in the anal and genital areas, including the thighs and buttocks. However, since you cannot tell if someone has crypto, you may want to take these precautions with any sex partner: Rimming (kissing or licking the anus) is so likely to spread infection that you should avoid it, even if you and your partner wash well before. Always wash your hands well after touching your partner's anus or rectal area.

3 . Avoid touching farm animals. If you touch a farm animal, particularly a calf, lamb, or other young animal, or visit a farm where animals are raised, wash your hands well with soap and water before preparing food or putting anything in your mouth. Do not touch the stool of any animal. After you visit a farm or other area with animals, have someone who is not HIV infected clean your shoes, or if you clean them yourself, wear disposable gloves. Wash your hands after taking off the gloves.

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