Pathology of HIV/AIDS: Lessons from Autopsy Series
HIV infection is a global disease and despite considerable efforts of the international community it is a main cause of human mortality (UNAIDS, 2009). Morphological insights into HIV/AIDS are based on the study of clinical cases by means of biopsy and autopsy. Morphological changes during development of HIV infection and, especially, through AIDS progression are variable and specified mainly by characteristics of widespread secondary infections and tumors. Opportunistic infections account for approximately 80% of deaths in patients with AIDS and their spectrum is constantly changing, as a result of improvements in treatment options and prophylaxis along with the increasing life span of HIV-infected individuals. Postmortem examinations provide important diagnostic and epidemiological data and represent a most reliable source for estimation of the full spectrum of diseases in individual patients and the general population.