1985 World Health Organization AIDS surveillance case definition

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The 1985 World Health Organization AIDS surveillance case definition was developed in October 1985, at a conference of public health officials including representatives of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) in Bangui, Central African Republic. For this reason, it became to be known as the Bangui definition for AIDS. It was developed for use in countries where testing for HIV antibodies was not available.

It stated the following:

Exclusion criteria

  1. Pronounced malnutrition
  2. Cancer
  3. Immunosuppressive treatment
Inclusion criteria with the corresponding score Score
Important signs
Weight loss exceeding 10% of body weight 4
Protracted asthenia 4
Very frequent signs
Continuous or repeated attacks of fever for more than a month 3
Diarrhoea lasting for more than a month 3
Other signs
Cough 2
Pneumopathy 2
Oropharyngeal candidiasis 4
Chronic or relapsing cutaneous herpes 4
Generalized pruritic dermatosis 4
Herpes zoster (relapsing) 4
Generalized adenopathy 2
Neurological signs 2
Generalized Kaposi's sarcoma 12

The diagnosis of AIDS is established when the score is 12 or more.


The 1985 WHO AIDS surveillance case definition was heavily criticised, for both medical and political reasons. The 1994 expanded World Health Organization AIDS case definition was introduced in 1994 to incorporate the statement that HIV testing should be done. However, if testing was unavailable, then the Bangui definition should be used.