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Seroepidemiology of Human T-Lymphotropic Virus Type III Among Homosexual Men with the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or Generalized Lymphadenopathy and Among Asymptomatic Controls in Boston

JEROME E. GROOPMAN, M.D.; KENNETH H. MAYER, M.D.; M. G. SARNGADHARAN, Ph.D.; DAVID AYOTTE, M.P.H.; ANTHONY L. DEVICO, B.S.; ROBERT FINBERG, M.D.; ANN H. SLISKI, D.Sc.; J. DAVIS ALLAN, M.D.; and ROBERT C. GALLO, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

This work was supported by Junior Faculty Research Award #44 from the American Cancer Society (Dr. Groopman) and by the AIDS Action Committee, Boston.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Jerome E. Groopman, M.D.; Department of Medicine, New England Deaconess Hospital, 110 Francis Street; Boston, MA 02215.


Boston, Massachusetts; Pawtucket, Rhode Island; and Kensington and Bethesda, Maryland


© 1985 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1985;102(3):334-337. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-102-3-334
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We studied a cohort of 45 homosexual men with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, 78 with persistent unexplained generalized lymphadenopathy, and 160 asymptomatic homosexual controls for serologic evidence of infection with human T-lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III). Study participants were recruited from a community-based health center and a university hospital practice. Ninety-eight percent of men with the syndrome and greater than 90% of men with generalized lymphadenopathy had antibody to HTLV-III, while 21% of the controls were positive (p 〈 0.001). Six patients with generalized lymphadenopathy developed the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome over 2 years; all were seropositive for HTLV-III. Thirty-six asymptomatic controls had had sexual contact with a man with the syndrome; receptive anal intercourse in this group was associated with seropositivity for HTLV-III. These data suggest that persistent generalized lymphadenopathy and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome are part of a clinical spectrum of HTLV-III infection and that most high-risk homosexual men in some regions of the United States have not yet been infected with this virus.

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