September #39 : Better Safe Than Sushi - by Lark Lands, PhD

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Better Safe Than Sushi

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Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

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Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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September 1998

Better Safe Than Sushi

by Lark Lands, PhD

The raw deal

Your mouth may water at the sight of a picture-perfect sushi menu, but think twice before scarfing uncooked sea creatures. Both sushi (rolls made with raw fish or other seafood) and sashimi (raw fish by itself) can contain parasites that cause serious infections in PWAs. And this warning extends to other protein foods. Raw or undercooked beef, poultry or eggs may sound disgusting—but rare steak, Caesar salad with that lovely raw-egg dressing and oysters on the half shell are all tasty treats. Alas, they may also be infested with microscopic parasites, bacteria or viruses that can be a source of serious problems down the line. To avoid the risk of common parasite infections, toxoplasmosis, MAC, hepatitis or food poisoning from potentially lethal microbes, steer clear of all such foods, even if a restaurant is ultraclean. And never assume that eating raw fish or meats shouldn’t be a worry for you because your viral load is undetectable. The rate of immune restoration is unknown, and even HIV negative people are susceptible to many of these infections. 

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