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June 1988

Human Immunodeficiency Virus Isolation Studies and Antibody Testing: Household Contacts and Sexual Partners of Persons With Hemophilia

Author Affiliations

From the New England Area Comprehensive Hemophilia Center and the Department of Medicine, Worcester (Mass) Memorial Hospital (Drs Brettler and Levine and Ms Forsberg); and the Departments of Pediatrics, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester (Dr Sullivan and Mss Andrews and Baker).

Arch Intern Med. 1988;148(6):1299-1301. doi:10.1001/archinte.1988.00380060063015

• Virus isolation studies and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody testing were performed on 87 household contacts of 68 HIV antibody-positive hemophilic patients to determine the extent that HIV could be transmitted through heterosexual or through nonsexual, but intimate contact. Human immunodeficiency virus seropositivity was established for the 68 hemophiliacs by immunofluorescence method or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and confirmed by Western blot testing (for 66 patients). Fifty-one nonsexual contacts and 36 sexual partners of these hemophiliacs were tested for HIV antibody by immunofluorescence or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot. All sexual partners and all nonsexual household contacts were HIV antibody-negative, Including six partners and nine parents of hemophiliacs from whom the virus had been isolated and seven parents and six partners of patients with AIDS. This study further demonstrates lack of transmission of HIV in intimate, but nonsexual settings, and suggests that heterosexual transmission, although well known to occur, may be relatively uncommon in hemophilic couples when the male and female partner have no other risk factors. It is hoped that intensive education and counseling programs will reduce exposure and maintain a low risk of heterosexual transmission.

(Arch Intern Med 1988;148:1299-1301)

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