How AIDS is diagnosed

The lab values used to diagnose AIDS rely on recognizing deficient versus normal immune function in the presence of HIV infection. However, testing positive for HIV infection (via DNA or antibody tests) does not mean that an individual has AIDS or that they will develop it. CD4 T cell counts and ratios are used to determine immune function, but AIDS is also diagnosed in the presence of particular defining conditions. Read more about the lab values and AIDS-defining conditions used to diagnose AIDS.

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