Key Points

• The CDC classification uses CD4+ counts and specific HIV-related conditions to stage HIV illness. WHO guidelines use clinical observations.

• The CDC lists AIDS categories as A3, B3, C1, C2, and C3, with 23 AIDS-defining conditions. WHO includes primary HIV infection and four clinical stages.

The two classification systems currently in use to monitor the severity of HIV illness and assist with its management have been developed by the CDC (Table 17-1) and the World Health Organization (WHO) (Box 17-2). The CDC classification, last modified in 1993, uses CD4+ counts and specific HIV-related conditions, whereas the WHO classification, developed in 1990 and revised in 2007, is guided by clinical observations and can be used in settings where access to CD4+ tests is unavailable.

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