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Question
Posted by: Mel | 2010-01-06

Death Certificate

A friend of mines sister passed away last week. She showed me the death certificate because she wanted me to explain in lamen' s terms what killed her sister. The certificate says ' pneumonia'  and ' retroviral disease stage 4' . Can you explain what this actually means so that I can explain it to my friend? I looked it up and I found a lot of references to HIV, but nothing conclusive and I' d like to make sure that I have the correct answer for her. Thank you for your time.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Hallo Mel
Lung infection and probably HIV although there could be other retroviruses too that can cause infection. Doctors often use "retroviral" because putting "HIV" on a death certificate is still a sensitive matter. If I may make a suggestion, you could tell her that she died of lung infection due to weakened immunity.
Dr Bets

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Mel | 2010-01-07

Thank you. I will take your advice.

Reply to Mel
Posted by: cyberdoc | 2010-01-06

Hallo Mel
Lung infection and probably HIV although there could be other retroviruses too that can cause infection. Doctors often use "retroviral" because putting "HIV" on a death certificate is still a sensitive matter. If I may make a suggestion, you could tell her that she died of lung infection due to weakened immunity.
Dr Bets

Reply to cyberdoc

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