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Sharing a house with a HIV positive person

Aug 6, 1997

I live with my mother, husband and two young boys, one age 5 the other 5 months. My mother just informed us that her girlfriend is HIV positive. (My mother is being tested now and is awaiting results). She has been given medicine for the last five months and has been told the virus is now undetectable. What are the ] risks to my children? Should they be tested? Should they be allowed to ride in the car with them(what if there was an accident)?Should I allow them to babysit(what if there was an accident and they needed first aid)? Can my children awim with her? I contacted my doctor and was not satisfied with her comments. Please help I never thought I would have to worry about my childrens saftey and HIV for another couple of years.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. HIV is not transmitted through any form of casual contact. This means that living with a person with HIV, sharing a car, and swimming with them, poses no risk of infection at all. HIV is transmitted through sexual contact, needle-sharing, and through direct blood-to-blood contact. Your kids do not need to be tested, nor does anyone else in your household. If a first aid situation should ever arise, anyone giving first aid to anyone else must always use latex gloves. This is to protect a person against HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and any other bloodborne disease. Latex gloves should be a standard part of every first aid kit in every household. Based on what you told me, your kids and the rest of your family are at no risk for HIV.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

Greg Louganis

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