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The Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

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Grant support: by grant A115332 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; by CA 12800, National Cancer Institute, Department of Health and Human Services; in part by grant 17328 from the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism, and Digestive Disease; by grant HL00915 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; by grant JFRA44 from the American Cancer Society; by grants from the Concern Foundation of Los Angeles; and in part by an equipment loan from the Olympus Corporation.

Dr. Groopman is a recipient of the Junior Faculty Research Award of the American Cancer Society and the Clinical Investigator Award of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Conference held on 7 October 1982; updated 1 June 1983.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Michael S. Gottlieb, M.D.; Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy; UCLA School of Medicine; Los Angeles, CA 90024.

Los Angeles, California

© 1983 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1983;99(2):208-220. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-99-2-208
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Recently, a new epidemic illness, the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, has dramatically emerged in the United States, Europe, and Haiti. The syndrome represents an unprecedented epidemic form of immunodeficiency involving prominent defects of the T-lymphocyte arm of the immune system. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, other opportunistic infections, and the previously rare cancer, Kaposi's sarcoma, are the most conspicuous illnesses that have this profound state of immune compromise as their underlying basis. Two years after the onset of clinical illness the case-fatality rate may exceed 90%. A steadily growing body of epidemiologic evidence indicates an infectious (probably viral) cause of the immunodeficiency although the responsible agent(s) remains obscure. Critical issues surrounding the diagnosis, screening of blood products, treatment of complicating infections and cancers, and prognosis for immunologic recovery in affected persons are unresolved. The identification of the cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and the institution of effective preventive measures require the urgent attention of the medical and scientific community worldwide.





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