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I'm confused -- AIDS Definition

Sep 19, 2000

Thanks so much for your excellent work. This site is the best resource around. I have a question. I had PCP last year, T cells were 12, and viral load off the charts. Since starting meds, I have an undetectable VL, and T cells are now at 254. My doctor told me that I know longer "meet the definition" of having AIDS. I thought once you had an AIDS diagnosis you would always be classified as having AIDS. Am I correct or have changed in how AIDS is defined?? Thanks for your answer

Response from Dr. Pavia

You are both right. As far as reporting and counting purposes, once you have had an AIDS diagnosis, you are always counted as "AIDS". As an epidemiologist, it would be a real problem to monitor the epidemic if we kept changing peoples status up and down and up again.

On the other hand, with your very nice CD4 cell response, you now longer are in the range that would be called AIDS. Since 1993, this has included anyone with a CD4 count less than 200, but if you increase, you are still counted as AIDS.

Congratulations on the improvement, even if you officially remain "an AIDS case"


Andrew T. Pavia, M.D.

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