Introduction

The complications of HIV are related to the patient's immune status as indicated by their blood level of CD4-positive T-helper lymphocytes ( Table..!). There are also social, demographic, and geographical influences on this disease, such that marked differences in the prevalence of HIV-related complications may be seen between patients attending separate treatment centers even within the same city. Additionally, there are differences in disease patterns related to the route of acquisition of HIV (Table ?) and the local use of antiretroviral drugs and prophylactic agents administered to prevent the more common infections such as Pneumocystis carinii pneumonitis, tuberculosis, Toxoplasma gondii and Mycobacterium avium intracellulars complex. HIV-related diseases that may require critical care are more restricted in range, and it is likely that most intensive care units in developed countries will have a similar case mix ( Wa.c.h.t.e.L.§.t..a.l 1..9.9.2; De Pal9.§t.M 19,9.5).

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Table 1 Relationship between CD4 count and HIV-related complications

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Table 2 Differences between homosexual men and intravenous drug users (IVDU) in the prevalence of first AIDS-defining events in Edinburgh, UK, 1993

HIV-related diseases that may require critical care are presented in a system-orientated way.

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