December 5th, 2008

New Case Definition for HIV Infection? Yawn …

The CDC has revised its case definition for HIV infection and AIDS, so that now laboratory evidence — a positive antibody test, or detectable HIV RNA or DNA – is required for the diagnosis.

It’s not intended to guide clinical practice, but still — what took them so long?  A clinical diagnosis of AIDS was only necessary before HIV had been discovered.  I cannot imagine someone reporting a case of AIDS or HIV infection without a positive blood test, especially since there have been several well-publicized cases of erroneous HIV diagnoses when laboratory confirmation was unavailable, or not performed.

So good move here, glad the epidemiologists have caught up.  And nostalgists may enjoy reading prior versions of various AIDS case definitions here.

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HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

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NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

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