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Key Features

Essentials of Diagnosis

  • Modes of transmission

    • Sexual contact with an infected person

    • Parenteral exposure to infected blood by transfusion or needle sharing

    • Perinatal exposure

  • Prominent systemic complaints: sweats, diarrhea, weight loss, and wasting

  • Opportunistic infections

    • Due to diminished cellular immunity

    • Often life-threatening

  • Aggressive cancers, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma

  • Neurologic manifestations

    • Dementia

    • Aseptic meningitis

    • Neuropathy

General Considerations

  • Definition: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention AIDS case definition (Table 31–1)

  • Etiology: HIV-1, a retrovirus

Table 31–1.CDC AIDS case definition for surveillance of adults and adolescents.

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