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November 22, 1985

AIDS-associated virus yields data to intensifying scientific study

JAMA. 1985;254(20):2865-2870. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360200015002

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The number of cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) continues to rise.

By early fall, more than 14,400 cases had been reported to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. The agency predicts that—by midsummer 1986— there will be an additional 12,000 cases.

James W. Curran, MD, chief of the center's AIDS branch, and his associates estimate that as many as a million Americans are now infected with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III), the virus generally held to be the primary cause of AIDS (Science 1985;229:1352-1357). In many reports, the AIDS virus is also called the lymphadenopathyassociated virus (LAV), the name proposed by the French group headed by Luc Montagnier, MD, who originally isolated this virus.

For his part, Robert C. Gallo, MD, chief of the Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology at the National Cancer Institute (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md) and the American discoverer of the