Prior to effective antiretroviral therapy (ART), survival among those diagnosed with HIV was generally short, with the majority of deaths seen being due to an AIDS condition. However, AIDS events are now relatively uncommon in those diagnosed with HIV, particularly among those who are diagnosed and start treatment soon after infection. As a result, the deaths that do occur are increasingly due to non-AIDS causes, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Whilst these causes of death are also common in those without HIV, it is difficult to exclude the possibility that HIV may still have contributed to these deaths. In this talk, I will review the way that the classification of deaths, and their attribution to HIV, has changed over time, discussing some of the challenges faced when attempting to label a death as ‘HIV-related’.