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Let’s have a look at a case scenario where the underlying cause of death was HIV.

A 35 year old woman presented with a three month history of productive cough, haemoptysis and severe weight loss. The chest X-Ray was suggestive of pulmonary TB. Acid fast bacilli were present in the sputum. An HIV test was positive. She was admitted to hospital for treatment. During the night she had a massive episode of haemoptysis and died.

•The immediate cause of death in this patient is Tuberculosis reported on line A of Part 1

•HIV is the underlying cause of death, so it is reported on the lowest used line of Part 1. 

•Haemoptysis is a symptom and should not be reported on the death certificate.