The most serious consequence of infection with the human T-cell leukemia-lymphotropic virus type III/ lymphadenopathy-associated virus (HTLV-III/LAV) is the severely altered immune state underlying the opportunistic diseases that define the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Control of the spread of HTLV-III/LAV infection in the absence of a vaccine is dependent on risk reduction among homosexual/bisexual males, users of illicit intravenous drugs, and heterosexual sexual partners of these high-risk individuals. Exclusion from the blood supply of potentially infected blood and blood products with screening for antibody to HTLV-III/LAV should prevent approximately 2% of AIDS cases.
Therapy of infected individuals with and without AIDS remains an elusive goal but will probably require effective antiviral therapy and immunomodulation. The rationale underlying the attempts to enhance the immune status of these patients is the observation that the defect associated with HTLV-III/LAV infection is due to depletion of T-helper (T4 + )
Phair J. Therapy for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome: Implantation of Cultured Thymic Fragments. Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(6):1074–1075. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360180056007
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