Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Questions About Treatment & Side Effects

Difference between HIV and AIDS

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Well, technically AIDS is not on the paper for classification of adult HIV 1 infection:

HIV Infection classification

Clinical category: CD4A (Asymptomatic)B (Symptomatic)C (Symptomatic)500+ (29%+)A1B1C1200-499 (14-28%)A2B2C2under 200 (13%-)A3B3C3
The difference between B and C categories is that the B list of symptomatic presentations is short (indeed, some of the things counted in the US wouldn't often be counted in the UK) and the C list = old 1993 list of AIDS-defining conditions.  CDC case surveillance includes AIDS, it goes the well-known asymptomatic, symptomatic, AIDS.  In the table above, A3, B3 and C1-3 would = AIDS. 

Note that the classification is not intended to be a staging system for disease progression like cancer, although it tends to be used that way.  People with acute infection could well fall into an A3 (or even B3) class on diagnosis, but would be unlikely to stay there.

- matt

Interesting question...this very question was posed to two ID  Dr's at a presentation I attended just a month ago..both in practise many years...they both agreed  once diagnosed never changed back.....the  cd 200 number was mentioned several times  and reference was made to having OI's of various types....  I would hope that the chart "newt" posted would be widely adopted.....
.Personally for those who have a real need to know( insurance forms , clinic admittance etc.. )  I always say HIV+...that is it......I never mention AIDS since even Health care workers seem to step back and put on two pairs of gloves if you do so....


My Dr. does not use the word AIDS. Only HIV infection and he uses the classification Matt pointed out. According to my last medical report I was in stage A1.
Years ago, AIDS diagnosis was used to receive certain help from the government. It is no longer used.

Hi Tony,
I can share my experiences with you. I was diagnosed in '93 with around 300 tcells, and then they dropped down to 160 within months, and have stayed below 200 mark since '94. Throughout the years I have been mostly asymptomatic. I was ill in 2000, then starting this past year, I have been symptomatic...thrush, cmv, diarrhea, stomach problems (although the gut issues I think have been med related). I have been on meds the whole time, I just never responded very well to them even with great adherence.

I agree with your doctor. Numbers are a guideline to work with, but not the determining factor of your health and well being. Your health consists of your physical, mental and spiritual well being.


AIDS, HIV; Remember ARC????? Blondbeauty's Doc is right. Labels get people all hung up.

This rush to terminology (especially when sale of a newly packaged drug is possible), when we are pretty much just setting arbitrary quantitative borders, is kind of silly.

We have HIV. HIV is AIDS. HIV is also a cancer. That's pretty much how I answer people's questions about it. If they ask a follow-up I usually answer "Yeah, AIDS is just a way of saying having HIV and sicker." The rest is unimportant to me. Kind of reminds me of folks getting all hung up on "undetectable". Sure it's great do have a small VL, but we've all got the same virus.

PS Though I hope Ann won't banish this post to the Off-Topic thread, I've been wondering if your picture isn't that kid who played Dennis the Menace on TV wearing something out of Margaret's closet?  :o


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