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July 10, 1987

HIV Antibody Prevalence Data Derived From Study of Massachusetts Infants

JAMA. 1987;258(2):171-172. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400020013003

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INVESTIGATORS at the Massachusetts Department of Health in Boston have opened a way to detecting the prevalence of antibody to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in childbearing women. By extension, they have provided the first data on the true prevalence of the antibody in the US general population.

Their findings confirm the estimates of HIV seropositivity that have been made by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta but which, of necessity, have been based on a number of assumptions. For example, it is assumed that the present trend in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) cases is unlikely to change from that reported over the past five years.

The Massachusetts group is headed by George Grady, MD. Its members point out that, since their study includes demographic data on the broad variations of HIV seroprevalence, it will enable those who advocate routine HIV-antibody screening (such as President Ronald Reagan) to