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Living With HIV

If you have a pet, learn how to live with it safely. If you don't have a pet, consider getting one. A pet is good for your health.

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Pets are good for emotional health and have been shown to increase longevity.

The pet doesn't have to be a dog or a cat, and it doesn't have to be an attention requiring puppy or kitten.

Learn how to live safely with your pet. For instance, if you have a cat, preferably ask someone to change the litter. If there is no one available, wear rubber gloves. Cat poop can be harmful to you because of your lowered immune system.

If you have a landlord who prohibits pets, you may be able to have one as an accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Survivorship A to Z provides advice about how to live with a pet including how not to get any kind of infection from them. Please see Americans With Disabilities Act.


  • While pets can be an emotional balm, they are not a substitute for communicating with other people in a similar situation, support groups or therapists.
  • The "H" in HIV stands for human. HIV cannot be transmitted to or from a pet. This includes if a dog or cat causes you to bleed and licks the blood or the pet licks sweat form your body. 

For additional information, see: Pets 101

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