Immune System

HIV and Related Conditions

Immunodeficiency Disorders

Current FAA policy allows consideration for any class of medical certificate to individuals who are HIV positive but who have not been diagnosed with AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). The complexity of HIV-related disorders requires that each case be evaluated on individual medical history and follow-up monitoring.

All FDA-approved antiretroviral medications that are used in accordance with an acceptable drug therapy protocol are acceptable for medical certification consideration. Acceptable protocols are described in Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents developed by the Department of Health and Human Services Panel on Clinical Practices for Treatment of HIV Infection.

Complete documentation should be available to the aviation medical examiner at the time of application, and must include the following:

  • Report of examination by a physician who is knowledgeable in the treatment of HIV-infected individuals, including detailed medical history emphasizing symptoms and treatment referable to the immune system.
  • A viral load determination by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). For persons who have had an AIDS-defining illness, two determinations one month apart are required.
  • Current CD4 and lymphocyte count. For persons who have had an AIDS-defining illness, two determinations one month apart are required for CD4.
  • Complete blood count (CBC).
  • Results of current liver function studies.
  • BUN and creatinine.
  • A current assessment of cognitive function (preferably by COGSCREEN or other test battery) must be provided with the initial medical application. Follow-up neuropsychological evaluations are required annually for first and second class medical certificate holders and every other year for holders of third class. If COGSCREEN is not available, the following tests should be substituted:
    1. MMPI
    2. WAIS-R
    3. Memory Test (one of the following)
      1. Wechsler Memory Scale
      2. Rey auditory Verbal Learning Test
    4. Trails Making Test (A and B)
    5. Category Test (booklet or machine)
    6. Sensory-Motor Screening
    7. Language Functioning Test (one of the following)
      1. Speech Sounds Perception Test
      2. Aphasia Screening Test

For applicants with a history of cytomegalovirus (CMR) retinitis, a current ophthalmological evaluation with visual field testing must be included with the initial medical application and at six-month intervals thereafter.

How/Where to Submit to the FAA

Helps you find the contact information for submitting your medical records.

Updated October 27, 2009