People with advanced HIV are vulnerable to infections and malignancies that are called 'opportunistic infections' because they take advantage of the opportunity offered by a weakened immune system. The most common HIV-related opportunistic infections and diseases includes:
Different infections occur at different stages of HIV. In early stages of HIV people develop tuberculosis, malaria, bacterial pneumonia, herpes zoster, staphylococcal skin infections and septicaemia. Not only is the occurrence of these infection more but it also takes a HIV infected person longer to recover.
Some infections can spread to a number of different organs, which is known as 'disseminated' or 'systemic' disease. Many of the opportunistic infections that occur at this late stage can be fatal.