Common Medical Problems 297
A person with HIV can get sick very easily from many
different medical problems. The rest of this chapter has
information about the most common of these problems and
how an individual or family may care for them.
Just because someone has one of these problems does not
mean she has AIDS. This information will be helpful to anyone
suffering from one of these illnesses.
Fevers often come and go. It is hard to know if the fever
is from an infection that can be treated, like tuberculosis, pelvic
inflammatory disease (PID), or malaria, or if it is from HIV itself. If
the fever is caused by an infection, then make sure the infection
itself is also treated.
To check for fever, use a thermometer, or put the back of one
hand on the sick person’s forehead and the other on your
own. If the sick person feels warmer, she probably has a fever.
• Remove extra clothing and let fresh air into the room.
• Cool the skin by pouring water over it, wiping the skin with
wet cloths, or putting wet cloths on the chest and forehead
and fanning them.
• Give plenty of liquids even if the person is not thirsty. With
fever it is easy to become dehydrated (lose too much water).
• Take a medicine like paracetamol, aspirin, or ibuprofen to
help reduce fever.
• Keep the skin clean and dry. Use lotion or corn starch to
help prevent sores and rashes.
Get help when:
• the temperature is very high (over 39°C or over 102°F).
• the fever goes on for 2 weeks.
• there is coughing, difficulty breathing,
and loss of weight.
• there is a stiff neck, severe pain, or sudden, severe
diarrhea with the fever.
• the person with the fever is pregnant or recently had a
baby, miscarriage, or abortion.
• the person is being treated for malaria, and the fever
has not gone away after the first treatment.
• there is discharge from the vagina and pain in the
belly with the fever.
➤ For the medical
in this chapter, also
see Where There Is
No Doctor or another
general medical book.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012