|MYTHS & MISCONCEPTIONS OF HIV - UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS AND CARE OF AN HIV POSITIVE CHILD
in children is not an individual disease but a disease that affects
the entire family. With the advent of antiretroviral therapy,
pediatric HIV has evolved from a rapidly progressive fatal disease
to a chronic infection with prolonged survival. Being a chronic
disease, it affects the overall lifestyle, physical and even social
functioning. With fear of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome)
and social stigmatization; families live in fear, grief, guilt
to misconceptions about transmission and mode of inheritance by
the general public and even medical staff, patients who are HIV
positive are almost discriminated and treated as untouchables.
This attitude is depressing, misconceptual and almost suicidal
for the patients. Hence it's very important to understand correct
mode of transmission, precautions while handling biological wastes
of HIV positive children and how to enable these children to be
a part of society.
virus is not transmitted through everyday contact. It is not
transmitted through sneezing, coughing, hugging, touching or
- HIV is
transmitted on contact to body fluids such as blood, seminal
secretions only if there is breach of the mucous membranes and
skin. It is not transmitted through saliva, urine or stools
until and unless the child has bleeding in these sites.
breast milk is another source of transmission in infants.
disposal of an HIV positive child
diapers - While changing
diapers of an HIV positive child, it is preferable to wash hands
with soap and water before and after changing a diaper. Disposable
gloves should be used if there is blood in the stool or urine,
and if the caretaker has a rash or open cut on the hands. Disposable
diapers should be placed in a leak -proof plastic bag and put
in the trashcan. Reusable or washable nappies should be washed
separately and presoaked with detergent heavily. Bleach should
be added to the soiled clothes to inactivate the virus.
clothes - Clothes of
an HIV positive child can be washed with everyone else's clothes.
However, if the clothing is soiled by blood, semen, urine, feces
or vomit, it should be washed separately with addition of bleach
to inactivate the virus.
fluid spills- In case
of spilling of blood, urine, vomit, stools, bloody saliva of
an HIV +ve child, the spills should be cleaned wearing disposable
gloves and wiped with disposable rags or paper towels. The surface
should be cleaned with a bleach solution (1/4 cup bleach to
2.5 litres of water). The surface should be washed and air-dried.
The disposable gloves, rags should be placed in a leak-proof
plastic bag and put in the trashcan.
No eating restrictions are needed for an HIV positive child.
The child can eat together with everyone and can be served from
a common serving dish. The child should use the same dishes,
glasses, spoons & forks every time. The dishes and utensils
need not be washed separately. All dishes should be washed in
hot, soapy water.
Last created on 10-11-2002
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Last updated on18-11-2006