Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

HEPPigram: Evaluation of Diarrhea in Patients With HIV

By Joseph Bick, M.D.

April 2004

Diarrhea is defined as loose, watery stools occurring more than three times in one day. The average adult has a bout of diarrhea four times per year. It is a common problem that usually lasts a day or two and goes away on its own without any special treatment. Prolonged diarrhea can be due to a variety of pathogens as outlined in the HEPPigram below.

Keep in mind that patients may use the word diarrhea to describe anything from an upset stomach, to occasional watery stools, to frequent voluminous bowel movements. Sometimes, patients may require observation to allow objective documentation of symptoms. Reliably obtaining stool specimens in the correctional setting can be challenging and may require a brief stay in the infirmary.

HEPPigram: Evaluation of Diarrhea in Patients With HIV

Click image to enlarge.

Joseph Bick, M.D., is Chief Medical Officer at the California Medical Facility, California Department of Corrections.

This article was provided by Brown Medical School. It is a part of the publication HEPP Report. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

General Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.