Uncontrolled, loose and frequent bowel movements. In the United States, almost all people with AIDS develop diarrhea at some time in the course of their disease. Severe or prolonged diarrhea can lead to weight loss and malnutrition. The excessive loss of fluid that may occur with AIDS-related diarrhea can be life-threatening. There are many possible causes of diarrhea in people who have AIDS. The most common infectious organism causing AIDS-related diarrhea include cytomegalovirus (CMV); the parasites Cryptosporidium, Microsporidia and Giardia lamblia; and the bacterium Mycobacterium avium-inracellulare (MAC). Other bacteria and parasites that cause diarrheal symptoms in otherwise healthy people may cause more severe, prolonged or recurrent diarrhea in people with HIV or AIDS. See also Cytomegalovirus; Giardiasis; Microsporidiosis; Mycobacterium Avium Complex.
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