Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS):SFAF
the late stage of
HIV disease. AIDS involves the loss of function of the immune system as
CD4 cells are infected and destroyed, allowing the body to succumb to
opportunistic infections (e.g., Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, toxoplasmosis)
that are generally not pathogenic in people with intact immune systems.
Common symptoms of AIDS include malignancies and wasting syndrome. The
CDC defines AIDS as the presence of at least one of several opportunistic
infections or the presence of fewer than 200 CD4 cells/mm3 in an HIV positive
acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)JAMA
The most severe manifestation of infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (see) lists numerous opportunistic infections and neoplasms (cancers) that, in the presence of HIV infection, constitute an AIDS diagnosis. There are also instances of presumptive diagnoses when a person's HIV status is unknown or not sought. This was especially true before 1985 when there was no HIV-antibody test. In 1993, CDC expanded the criteria for an AIDS diagnosis to include CD4+ (see) T cell count at or below 200 cells per microliter in the presence of HIV infection. In persons (age 5 and older) with normally functioning immune systems, CD4+ T cell counts usually range from 500 to 1,500 cells per microliter. Persons living with AIDS often have infections of the lungs, brain, eyes, and other organs, and frequently suffer debilitating weight loss, diarrhea (see), and a type of cancer called Kaposi's Sarcoma (see). See HIV Disease; Opportunistic Infection; Wasting Syndrome.