Positively Adopted

Life with children who have HIV

Are colds or flu more dangerous for kids with HIV?

It's always best to talk with your local pediatric infectious disease specialist, but most experts agree that nothing special needs to be done for a child with HIV who catches a cold more than any other child. 


Commonly used over-the-counter medications for symptoms are generally safe and do not interfere with the HIV medications.


Because people with HIV/AIDS are more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections, it's always smart to use common sense and good hygiene to reduce the chance of getting sick. 

Having said that, many  families report that their kids with HIV are actually the healthiest and least frequently sick of ALL their children!


Check with your doctor about a flu shot for all family members to avoid spreading illnesses amongst each other. The CDC recommends that people with chronic medical conditions, including HIV/AIDS and those with weakened immune systems, be among the first to get a flu vaccine each year.


Flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May. October or November is the best time to be vaccinated, but you can still get vaccinated in December and later. 

*NOTE: People with HIV (or other immune suppression) should not get the live virus flu vaccine sold as FluMist.


Most experts agree that nothing special needs to be done for a child with HIV who catches a cold than any other child. Commonly used over-the-counter medications for symptoms are generally safe and do not interfere with the HIV medications.

"People with HIV infection get the same colds and flus that everyone else does, with the same frequency and the same severity." 


-Dr. Joel Gallant  (100 Questions and Answers about HIV/AIDS)

Does your child with HIV get colds/flu more than others?

"I have 5 other kids. Some of my kids have ongoing ear issues and see the ENT more frequently than Lil Miss sees the PID." (Pediatric Infectious Disease specialist)  


-Debbie

"No. If anything, she gets sick LESS than my other kids!"    -Anita