Objectives. We assessed the prevalence of recreational activities in the waterways of Baltimore, MD, and the risk of exposure to Cryptosporidium among persons with HIV/AIDS. Methods. We studied patients at the Johns Hopkins Moore Outpatient AIDS Clinic. We conducted oral interviews with a convenience sample of 157 HIV/AIDS patients to ascertain the sites used for recreational water contact within Baltimore waters and assess risk behaviors. Results. Approximately 48% of respondents reported participating in recreational water activities (fishing, crabbing, boating, and swimming). Men and women were almost equally likely to engage in recreational water activities (53.3% versus 51.3%). Approximately 67% (105 of 157) ate their own catch or that of friends or family members, and a majority (61%, or 46 of 75) of respondents who reported recreationalwater contact reported consumption of their own catch. Conclusions. Baltimoreans with HIV/AIDS are engaging in recreational water activities in urban waters that may expose them to waterborne pathogens and recreational water illnesses. Susceptible persons, such as patients with HIV/AIDS, should be cautioned regarding potential microbial risks from recreational water contact with surface waters.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health