It is important to emphasise that there are well over 33 million people worldwide who are infected with the AIDS virus (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), and about five million more people are still infected annually. A high proportion of these are women and children. Many AIDS patients live in circumstances which do not enable them to receive the care and treatment outlined below, though greater international efforts in this direction are now being made. Put very briefly, the progression of HIV infection to the full-blown picture of AIDS is associated with loss of immunocompetence and its consequences, the occurrence of opportunistic infections and malignancies, while the immune dysregulation may lead to autoimmune phenomena such as vasculitis. Poor antibody responses have also been associated with premature exhaustion of B lymphocytes in HIV-infected patients. Fungal infections in particular increase the risk for disease progression. Co-infection with hepatitis C virus also has a deleterious effect and contributes to hepatic fibrosis. DNA microarray analysis has been used to predict hepatic fibrosis, thereby sparing the patients a liver biopsy. These patients also have reduced BMD and possibly osteopenia/osteoporosis.