What are the clinical stages of HIV infection?

HIV infection in children is divided into 4 stages:

  1. During stage 1 the child is generally well (asymptomatic).
  2. During stage 2 the child has skin rashes and minor infections.
  3. During stage 3 the child becomes ill with more serious infections.
  4. During stage 4 the child becomes infected with unusual organisms which are very uncommon in healthy children. Stage 4 is also know as AIDS.

Some previously-well infants can present with stage 4 disease without first progressing through the other stages.

This is the WHO classification. It has replaced the CDC classification which only used 3 stages and did not adequately address many common conditions in Africa such as pulmonary tuberculosis, malnutrition and chronic lung disease.

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