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Preventing Infections During Travel

June 21, 2007

In the United States or abroad? For business or pleasure? When you travel, you risk coming into contact with germs you might not find at home. Many of these germs can make you very sick.

  • Talk to your doctor about your travel plans before your trip
  • Take special care with food and water
  • Protect your health (and the health of others) just as you do at home
For people with special health needs, travel can be risky to their health. If you have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) -- the virus that causes AIDS -- you should have all the facts. Travel, especially to developing countries, can increase your risk of getting opportunistic infections. (They are called "opportunistic" because a person may get the infection when their weakened immune system gives it the opportunity to develop.) The best thing you can do when you travel is to know the medical risks and to take steps to protect yourself


Before You Travel

Plan in advance for problems that might come up.


When You Travel

Food and water in developing countries may not be as clean as they are at home. These items might contain bacteria, viruses, or parasites that could make you sick.Bottled water.

Take the same precautions that you take at home to prevent giving HIV to others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers international travel information on the Internet at www.cdc.gov/travel/ and by telephone at 888-232-3228. This number also provides an information "menu," including how to receive specific travel advice by fax.


For More Information

Free referrals and information:

CDC-INFO
1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636)
TTY: 1-888-232-6348
In English, en Español
24 Hours/Day

Free materials:

CDC National Prevention Information Network
(800) 458-5231
1-301-562-1098 (International)
P.O. Box 6003
Rockville, MD 20849-6003

Free HIV/AIDS treatment information:

AIDSinfo
(800) 448-0440

Project Inform
(800) 822-7422

Drugs undergoing clinical trials:

AIDSinfo
(800) 448-0440

Social Security benefits:

Social Security Administration
(800) 772-1213

(You also may request a personal earnings and benefit estimate statement to help you estimate the retirement, disability, and survivor benefits payable on your Social Security record.)

Child Health Insurance Program
1-877 KIDS NOW (1-877-543-7669)

CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention Internet address: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/

Additional brochures in the Opportunisitic Infections Series:

*Use of trade names does not imply endorsement by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.




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