Care for Persons with HIV or AIDS 295
Preventing infections in the home
With a few simple precautions, there is almost no risk of
spreading HIV from an infected person to others around her. In
fact, the risk of getting infections like diarrhea is greater for the
person with HIV than getting HIV is for the caregiver. Wash your
hands with soap and water before and after giving all care.
• Use clean water to wash dishes and food before eating or
• Keep bedding and clothing clean. This helps keep sick people
comfortable and helps prevent skin problems. To clean
clothing or sheets stained with blood, diarrhea, or other
- keep them separate from other
- hold an unstained part and
rinse off any body fluids with
- wash the bedding and clothing
in soapy water and hang to
dry—in the sun if possible.
- you can also add bleach to
the soapy water and soak
10 minutes before washing,
and if you have them, wear
gloves or plastic bags on
• Avoid touching bloody body fluids with bare hands.
Use a piece of plastic or paper, gloves, or a big leaf to
handle dirty bandages, cloths, blood, vomit, or stool.
• Do not share anything that touches blood. This
includes razors, needles, any sharp instruments that
cut the skin, and toothbrushes. If you must share such
things, disinfect them before another person uses them
(see page 526).
• Keep wounds covered, on caregivers and on persons
with HIV or AIDS. Burn or bury soiled bandages that
cannot be rewashed.
➤ Comfort and
kindness are as
cleanliness in caring
for a person with
HIV or AIDS.
➤ Good home
care includes trying
to make sure that
the person with
AIDS has enough
to eat and clean
water to drink.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012