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October 17, 1986

Infectious Diseases

JAMA. 1986;256(15):2093-2094. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380150103029

The acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) virus has been termed "human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III" (HTLV-III), "lymphadenopathy-associated virus" (LAV), and "AIDS-associated retrovirus." The designation "human immunodeficiency virus" (HIV) has recently been proposed by an international group.

As new information on the varied clinical manifestations of infection with this virus develops, it becomes apparent that the original surveillance definition of AIDS was too narrow. Therefore, a more comprehensive classification system for HIV infections was established in 1986 by a panel of experts from the Centers for Disease Control.1 It is still hard to estimate the size of the epidemic, but it appears that perhaps 500 000 to 2 million persons have been infected with HIV in the United States, where more than 20 000 cases of AIDS were reported by mid1986.2 It is estimated that an average of 2% to 4% of seropositive individuals will develop AIDS each year