Parasites and pathogens cause a variety of diseases that can affect the behavior and reproductive fitness of an individual and a variety of behavioral responses to parasitism have been reported. Primates have received growing attention for their ability to self-medicate in response to parasite infections. At our current level of understanding, health maintenance and self-medicative behaviors can be classified into four basic levels: 1) optimal avoidance or reduction of the possibility for disease transmission (avoidance of feces contaminated food, water, substrates);2) the dietary selection of items with a preventative or health maintenance affect (items eaten routinely in small amounts or on a limited basis); 3) ingestion of a substance for the curative treatment or control of a disease; and 4) application of a substance to the body or a living area for the control of disease transmission or a physical condition. Because the need to counteract such pressure is great, anti-parasitic behaviors are expected to occur throughout the animal kingdom. It should be no surprise then that primates are by no means unique in their ability to act in ways that prevent or minimize transmission or control existing parasite infections. Insects utilize the chemical defenses of plants to protect themselves from parasitoid predators and parasites. A number of anti-parasitic adaptations found in great apes for example have also been reported among mammals ranging from bats to bears. In this talk self-medication as an adaptive defense against parasites in primates will be described and compared with similar behaviors in other animal species.