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September 9, 1983

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome in Low-Risk Patients: Evidence for Possible Transmission by an Asymptomatic Carrier

Author Affiliations

From the Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Miami School of Medicine (Drs Pitchenik and Fischl); and the Division of Host Factors, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta (Dr Spira).

JAMA. 1983;250(10):1310-1312. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340100044027

Two patients who contracted acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) could not be included in any of the known high-risk groups for this syndrome (ie, they were not homosexual, intravenous [IV] drug abusers, Haitian, or hemophiliacs). Patient 1, however, had regular sexual contact with her husband, an IV drug abuser who is asymptomatic despite a severe T-cell defect (T-helper cells, 33/cu mm; T-helper/T-suppressor ratio, 0.32; and a depressed lymphoproliferative response to mitogens and antigens). We hypothesize that he may be an asymptomatic carrier of an AIDS agent that he transmitted to his wife through intimate heterosexual contact. This mode of sexual transmission may provide a vector for the spread of AIDS to low-risk populations.

(JAMA 1983;250:1310-1312)