On Thursday I went to a doctor who specializes in travel immunizations to get all of my necessary shots for the trip (fun, fun). Before the needles, he talked with me about where I was going, what shots were needed and how to stay safe and healthy. He broke my trip down into 3 groups--the first: Japan and Europe, the second: Thailand, India, Nepal, and Morocco, the third was Ghana, in a group of its own.
For the first group I didn't need anything. For the second group he was most concerned about food and water borne diseases so he recommended Hepatitis A and Typhoid. For Ghana, I had to get a Yellow Fever vaccination or else I can't even enter the country. Ghana is also the only country that he was worried about Malaria so he gave me a prescription that I should fill if I decide to venture outside of the capital city, Accra.
I got two shots--Yellow Fever and Hep A. He gave me pills for Typhoid which I am taking now. 4 pills every other day for 8 days. I think it's made me feel a little nauseous but nothing too bad. So I have all kinds of cool antibodies streaming through my body right now.
Obviously, the shots sucked, but what impacted me the most during the consult was when the doc said "Based on the places you have chosen to go, I need you to listen to me carefully...Do NOT have sex. Do NOT get a tattoo. Do NOT do drugs. Do NOT have a blood transfusion. YOU WILL GET AIDS."
Point blank. Just like that. You will get AIDS. It gave me chills. I am not naive in thinking that some of the places we have chosen to go are going to be a big resort vacation. But that sentence, that bluntly, really drilled home how serious it is to be careful when traveling.
So, I will heed his advice, wrap myself in saran wrap for 4 months and only travel by double decker tour buses...
In all seriousness, if you are planning a trip, the doctor I went to was great, he has been all over the world and knows what he's talking about. It cost me $340-- but better safe than sorry.
Here is his info: Dr. Disease.