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CMV (cytomegalovirus [si-to-MEG-a-lo-vi-rus]) mostly affects HIV-infected people whose CD4 cell counts are below 100. It mainly affects your eyes and stomach, but can hurt your whole body. It can cause problems seeing and blindness, painful swallowing, fever, stomach pain, diarrhea, pneumonia-like symptoms, confusion, tiredness, and pain, weakness, and numbness in the legs. CMV spreads from one person to another in saliva (spit), semen, vaginal secretions, blood, urine, and breast milk. You can get CMV when you touch these fluids with your hands, and then touch your nose or mouth.

Prevent CMV:

  • Take your HIV drugs the way you're told to.
  • If you get sick from your medicine, call your doctor for help.
  • Wash your hands a lot. Use soap and wash them well.
  • Use condoms (Keep in mind: Condom use cannot guarantee total protection against CMV).
  • Talk to your doctor if you're getting a blood transfusion. Most blood banks don't screen blood for CMV.

If you work in a day care center, you should take these special steps:

  • Wash your hands really well after touching urine (pee) or saliva (spit).
  • Don't touch saliva or objects covered with saliva (such as cups, pacifiers, toys).
  • Talk with your doctor to see if you should work in a day care center.

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