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Opportunistic Infection in Previously Healthy Women: Initial Manifestations of a Community-Acquired Cellular Immunodeficiency

HENRY MASUR, M.D.; MARY ANN MICHELIS, M.D.; GARY P. WORMSER, M.D.; SHARON LEWIN, M.D.; JON GOLD, M.D.; MICHAEL L. TAPPER, M.D.; JOSE GIRON, M.D.; CHESTER W. LERNER, M.D.; DONALD ARMSTRONG, M.D.; USHA SETIA, M.D.; JOEL A. SENDER, M.D.; ROBERT S. SIEBKEN, M.D.; PETER NICHOLAS, M.D.; ZELMAN ARLEN; SHLOMO MAAYAN; JEROME A. ERNST; FREDERICK P. SIEGAL, M.D.; and SUSANNA CUNNINGHAM-RUNDLES, Ph.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Henry Masur, M.D.; Clinical Center, Room 10-D-48, National Institutes of Health; Bethesda, MD 20205.


Bethesda, Maryland; New York, Valhalla, and Elmhurst, New York; and Hackensack, New Jersey


© 1982 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1982;97(4):533-539. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-97-4-533
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Opportunistic infections and unusual tumors have been reported in an unprecedented outbreak of community-acquired cellular immune deficiency among homosexual and drug-abusing men. We report five women with the same syndrome. The women were residents of metropolitan New York City closely associated with drug abuse either by personal use (four patients) or close sexual contact with an abuser (one patient). One patient was bisexual. All five patients developed Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia as well as combinations of other opportunistic infections including oral Candida, disseminated mycobacteria, and ulcerative herpes simplex infections. All patients had marked depression of cellular immune function. Three patients died. The appearance of this syndrome in women has important implications with regard to the epidemiology and etiology of this emerging syndrome.

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