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December 9, 1983

Immune Deficiency Syndrome in Children

Author Affiliations

Queens Hospital Center Affiliation of the Long Island Jewish-Hillside Medical Center Jamaica, NY

JAMA. 1983;250(22):3046. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340220018013

To the Editor.—  The report by Oleske et al1 suggesting that children living in high-risk households are susceptible to the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) was widely publicized in the press and the media. The alarm that this report has generated among the general public seems premature, since the conclusions reached by Oleske and co-workers are far from convincing. The statement that "the illnesses in these youngsters were related in some way to household exposure" seems unwarranted.It seems probable that most, if not all, cases reported by Oleske et al were acquired in utero since the age at onset in all eight patients varied from birth to 9 months. Even the two babies whose fathers had AIDS may have acquired the disease in utero if the "agent" had been sexually transmitted to the two mothers, neither of whom were immunologically studied. Recently, immunodeficiency has been reported in female