World Aids Day: The FDA Creates a Guide to Food Safety for HIV/AIDS Victims
December 1st was World AIDS Day which is a day dedicated to AIDS, “worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.” The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) thoughtfully compiled a guided booklet about healthy food safety for those living with HIV or AIDS which compromises the immune system. Safe food practices are important for all to stay healthy but can be critical to the well-being for people with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Foodborne illness, most often called food poisoning, occurs when bacteria or parasites contaminate and infect food which is then ingested into the system causing symptoms ranging from diarrhea, nausea to stomach cramps and body aches. However, in an immunocompromised system, such as those with HIV/AIDS, contracting a foodborne illness can be life-threating. The FDA shared these startling statistics,
“48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 people die from foodborne infection and illness in the United States each year. Many of these people are children, older adults, or have weakened immune systems and may not be able to fight infection normally.”
A well-functioning immune system is capable of working to fight and remove foreign pathogens from the body, but the HIV virus works to against the immune system causing the person to be much for susceptible to infection. A mild case of food poisoning can cause havoc in the person living with HIV/AIDS resulting in secondary infections such as Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). Therefore, a person living with HIV/AIDS are so much more vulnerable to a multifold of infections that have the potential to be fatal, it is vital to learn and practice safe food-handling protocol.
You can download the booklet here: https://www.fda.gov/media/83721/download