Generally, hygiene precautions for people with HIV need not be different from those for anyone else and a few simple basic hygiene guidelines make good sense:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot running water after using the toilet, handling rubbish or pet waste, and before and after preparing food.
- Wear strong rubber gloves and use very hot water and strong disinfectants when cleaning up anything messy such as diarrhoea, pet droppings or manure, or when gardening or dealing with rubbish.
- Make sure you use different cleaning cloths for kitchen surfaces and floors and the bathroom.
- If you have cuts on your skin, wash well under running water, encourage a bit of bleeding to flush out any germs, clean the cut with antiseptic and put a waterproof plaster over it.
- Get medical attention if you have a deep cut.
- Do not share toothbrushes or razors.
- Carefully dispose of sharp objects.
There are some other circumstances where it is worth taking extra precautions. Avoid children with chicken pox if you have never been exposed to it before. It is caused by the herpes zoster virus, which may cause shingles in HIV-positive adults.