HIV disease, once considered an acute disease with a 100% mortality rate but a very short symptomatic stage, has begun to emerge as a preventable, treatable, chronic disease. Interactions between patients, dentists, and physicians are essential to gain the information necessary to provide appropriate dental care for both short-term and long-term survivors. The prognosis and survival time of the dental patient may influence treatment protocols and necessitate modified dental procedures. Certain clinical and laboratory parameters, which may be useful indicators of disease progression, need to be recognized by the dental clinician. These parameters include systemic signs, symptoms, and serologic data as well as intraoral manifestations associated with HIV disease. Although a perfect classification system for progression of HIV disease does not exist, trends among larger cohorts may enable health care providers to estimate the prognosis and survival of HIV-infected patients on an individual basis. This article presents clinical and laboratory parameters that indicate HIV disease progression. Providers who care for HIV-infected patients need to consider these parameters to establish an appropriate and flexible treatment plan based on changes in the patient's medical status.