304 HIV and AIDS
➤ People with HIV
to start ART
(see page 517).
Using a straw to drink
can help with painful
Pneumonia is caused by germs that infect the
small breathing tubes deep in the lungs. Old people
and very sick or weak people often get pneumonia.
Pneumonia can be very serious for people with
HIV. It should be treated with antibiotics right
away. Sometimes pneumonia must be treated in
the hospital with medicines in the vein (IV).
• Breaths are small and fast (more than 30 breaths a minute in
an adult). Sometimes the nostrils open wide with each breath.
• You feel as if you cannot get enough air.
• You have a sudden, often high, fever.
• You cough up mucus that is green, rust-colored, or bloody.
• You feel very ill.
• Take cotrimoxazole for 10 to 21 days (see the “Green Pages”).
• Drink plenty of liquids.
• Try to bring the fever down.
• If you are no better in 24 hours or if you are getting worse,
get medical help right away.
Problems with the mouth and throat
Mouth problems are common for people with HIV. Some
problems can be treated by rinsing daily with a mouthwash that
kills germs, such as gentian violet (see page 502). Or one made
with equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water (do not swallow
Problems with the mouth or throat can keep a person from
eating normally. She may then become weak, malnourished, and
sicker. She should try to:
• eat small amounts of food often.
• add vegetable oil to foods to give more energy.
• avoid uncooked vegetables. They are hard for the body to
digest and may have germs.
• drink a lot of liquids and watch for dehydration.
Soreness in the mouth and throat
Many people with HIV have soreness in the mouth, and
problems with their teeth and gums. Try to:
• eat soft, plain foods—not hard, crunchy, spicy, or salty foods.
• try cold foods, drinks, or ice to help ease pain.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012