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"advanced-stage AIDS" language - in your medical opinion?

Mar 1, 2015

Greetings Dr. Ben!

Wondering what you think of using the term "advanced-stage AIDS" in media etc. as a replacement for the outmoded, nonsensical "full-blown AIDS." Seems redundant when AIDS is the "advanced" stage of HIV, correct? Would "advanced-stage HIV" be preferred from a medical standpoint? How about compared to "progress to AIDS" or "an AIDS diagnosis"?

In their most recent surveillance data release, it seems CDC is moving toward this "stages" language and not relying as heavily on the term "AIDS." Would love to hear your thoughts on that as well as a longtime provider.

Thanks in advance - always a fan!

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting your interesting question.

I agree that the term "full-blown" is antiquated, redundant, stigmatizing and confusing (like "full-blown pregnant"). The term should fade from our jargon.

I prefer the use of the simple term, non-qualified term "AIDS". AIDS is AIDS. It's advanced immunosuppression.


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