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Article
November 8, 1985

Seroepidemiological Studies of HTLV-III Antibody Prevalence Among Selected Groups of Heterosexual Africans

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Infectious Diseases and Laboratory of Microbiology, Saint-Pierre Hospital, Brussels (Drs Clumeck, Van De Perre, Demol, and Cran); the Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md (Drs Robert-Guroff, Jennings, and Gallo); and the Blood Transfusion Project, Kigali, Rwanda (Dr Sibomana).

JAMA. 1985;254(18):2599-2602. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360180103034
Abstract

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.

(JAMA 1985;254:2599-2602)

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