What happens once an HIV infection has been staged into a higher clinical category?

Updated: Dec 02, 2019
  • Author: Nicholas John Bennett, MBBCh, PhD, MA(Cantab), FAAP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Importantly, once an HIV infection has been staged into a higher clinical category, it remains in that category permanently. In addition, the infection is classified based on the lowest CD4+ T-cell count in that patient.

For example, if a given HIV-positive patient recovers from a bout of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) and the CD4+ T-cell count improves from 50/µL to 250/µL, that patient’s HIV infection remains classified as C3. Persons with A3, B3, and C1-3 HIV infection are considered to have AIDS. This is important to recognize, as this designation is not based solely on the previous occurrence of opportunistic infections but rather on the current risk of infection based on a reduced CD4+ T-cell count.


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