T-lymphocyte subsets and human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III antibody prevalence were studied in African patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or AIDS-related complex (ARC), and in female prostitutes. African blood donors and healthy Zairian and Rwandese persons matched for age, sex, and annual income served as controls. Seropositivity was noted in 46 (87%) of 53 patients with AIDS, 29 (88%) of 33 patients with ARC, 67 (80%) of 84 prostitutes, and five (12.5%) of 40 and eight (15.5%) of 51 healthy controls and blood donors,respectively. Patients with AIDS and ARC had a significantly lower OKT4/OKT8 ratio than healthy African controls. These studies suggest that human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III infection has already spread extensively into the general African population and that female prostitutes could be an important human reservoir of AIDS virus in the heterosexual population.
Clumeck N, Robert-Guroff M, Perre PVD, Jennings A, Sibomana J, Demol P, Cran S, Gallo RC. Seroepidemiological Studies of HTLV-III Antibody Prevalence Among Selected Groups of Heterosexual Africans. JAMA. 1985;254(18):2599–2602. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360180103034