Risks of recreational exposure to waterborne pathogens among persons with HIV/AIDS in Baltimore, Maryland

Cynthia C. McOliver, Hanna B. Lemerman, Ellen K. Silbergeld, Richard D. Moore, Thaddeus K. Graczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1116-1122
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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