Stage 4 AIDS

AIDS is now defined as the presence of a +ve HIV antibody test associated with a CD4 lymphocyte count <0.2 x 109/L rather than by the development of a specific opportunistic infection or neoplastic complication. This final stage of HIV infection is associated with a marked reduction in CD4 T cells, severe life-threatening opportunistic infection, neoplasia and neurological degeneration. Severity of these complications usually reflects the degree of immunodeficiency as measured by the CD4 T-cell count. However, there is evidence that prophylactic therapy reduces the incidence of complications and newer antiviral therapies slow the progression of this stage.

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