What’s the link between
HIV and diarrhea?

What’s the link between HIV and diarrhea?

Many people get diarrhea that goes away in a few days. But for people living with HIV, diarrhea:

  • Can be more severe
  • Happens more frequently or urgently
  • Creates a “new normal” that has their daily life revolving too much around diarrhea
Diarrhea is a common problem for people living with HIV.


In people living with HIV, diarrhea can be caused by a variety of things, including:

  • An infection
  • A side effect of medicine
  • HIV itself
  • Diet
  • Stress


Doctors define diarrhea as a condition in which a person has an increase in how often they have bowel movements and how much there is. The bowel movements are often loose and watery. HIV-related diarrhea is not a pleasant thing to think about, but worse is the impact it can have on people’s lives.


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