September 1985

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in an Economically Disadvantaged Population

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Metropolitan and Lincoln Hospital Centers and Westchester County (New York) Medical Center, New York Medical College, Valhalla.

Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(9):1607-1612. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360090071013

• Forty patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), 70% of whom were intravenous drug abusers (IVDAs), were seen over a 20-month period (July 1,1981, through Feb 28, 1983). Most of the patients came from two inner-city sections of New York City and from nearby correctional facilities. Eighty-five percent of the patients were black or Hispanic; only 15% were white. Unique features of AIDS in this mostly heterosexual population were the high incidence of opportunistic infections (90% of the patients), the low incidence of Kaposi's sarcoma (10%), and the high mortality rate (34% died during initial hospitalization, 74% after one year of follow-up). Tuberculosis occurred in 10% of cases, preceding other opportunistic infections by four to 24 months. We found that AIDS was a common disease among inpatient IVDAs, and in one of the participating hospitals, its incidence was similar to that of infective endocarditis. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome should be considered