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October 12, 1984

Cytomegalovirus Isolation From Healthy Homosexual Men

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology (Drs Lange and Grieco), the Medical Service (Dr Kornfeld), and the Virology Research Laboratory and Pediatrics Service (Drs Klein and Cooper), St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York; and the Departments of Medicine (Drs Lange and Grieco) and Pediatrics (Drs Klein and Cooper), Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York.

JAMA. 1984;252(14):1908-1910. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350140054026

The acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has focused renewed interest on cytomegalovirus (CMV) both as an infectious complication of the syndrome and as a potential etiologic agent in the pathogenesis of the immunosuppression. We studied 30 healthy homosexual men in New York City to determine the prevalence of virus excretion and its relationship to CMV-IgM antibodies and to T-lymphocyte subsets. Cytomegalovirus was detected in the urine and/or semen of 11 subjects. Eight of 11 CMV shedders were CMV-IgM positive, but CMV IgM was found in only one of 19 not shedding the virus. While homosexuals as a group had lower 0KT4/0KT8 ratios (0.8 ±0.4, mean±SD) than heterosexual controls (1.8 ±0.4, mean ± SD), there was no significant difference in ratios between homosexuals excreting virus and those not excreting virus. Cytomegalovirus excretion by homosexual men seems to be more prevalent than previously appreciated and may pose a significant risk for sexual transmission.

(JAMA 1984;252:1908-1910)