What are the signs of stage 4 HIV infection?

Stage 4 HIV infection is recognised by:

  • Severe failure to thrive or weight loss with a weight less than 60% of that expected for age
  • Oesophageal candidiasis
  • Pneumocystis pneumonia
  • Disseminated tuberculosis or extrapulmonary tuberculosis
  • HIV encephalopathy
  • Many other severe opportunistic infections
  • Malignancy

The main feature of stage 4 HIV infection is severe opportunistic infection such as Pneumocystis pneumonia. Unlike adults, children with HIV infection rarely present with malignancies.

A detailed description of the 4 stages of HIV infection are given at the end of this unit.

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