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December 1990

The Face of Leprosy in the United States Today

Author Affiliations

Department of Health and Human Services; Disease Center Carville, LA 70721

Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(12):1627-1630. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670360091017

Although we have made considerable progress in our understanding and management of leprosy, articles such as that by Gelber et al in this issue of the Archives1 serve to remind US physicians that leprosy still exists, and remains a major world health problem. Currently, the World Health Organization estimates that there are 10 to 12 million cases in the world, but only 4 to 5 million are registered. While these figures were relatively stable for years, incidence and prevalence have now started to decline in some areas as a result of the relatively new short-term therapy and improved control measures. On the other hand, a number of reports of leprosy in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome have recently been published.2 The immune deficit associated with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome has led to an increased incidence of tuberculosis and other mycobacterial diseases in these patients, and it is

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