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October 18, 1985

Heterosexually Acquired HTLV-III/LAV Disease (AIDS-Related Complex and AIDS): Epidemiologic Evidence for Female-to-Male Transmission

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Virus Diseases (Dr Redfield) and Medicine (Dr Wright), Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, DC; the Department of Cell Biology, Litton Bionetics Inc, Kensington, Md (Drs Markham and Sarngadharan); and the Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md (Dr Gallo and Mr Salahuddin).

JAMA. 1985;254(15):2094-2096. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360150070026

Thirty-seven percent (15/41) of patients with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III) disease (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS] or AIDS-related complex) sequentially evaluated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, acquired this infection from a partner(s) of the opposite sex. Demographic features of these 15 patients (ten males and five females) differed substantially from those for patients reported to the Centers for Disease Control. Heterosexual contact with partners who developed AIDS or who were at risk for AIDS was confirmed in six patients. The remaining nine patients had multiple (>50) heterosexual partners and/or sexual contact with prostitutes. The method of sexual activity did not appear to be related to disease acquisition; however, this study clearly demonstrated that receptive anal intercourse was not a requirement. The observations reported herein provide further epidemiologic evidence to support the occurrence of bidirectional heterosexual transmission (both male to female and female to male) of HTLV-III infection and disease.

(JAMA 1985;254:2094-2096)