Preliminary data suggest that serological evidence of exposure to HTLV-III/LAV may be common in certain populations at increased risk for AIDS. Antibody to HTLV-III was detected by ELISA in serum samples from six (35%) of 17 American homosexual men without symptoms of AIDS. Serum samples from eight (18%) of 44 homosexual men without lymphadenopathy seen at a venereal disease clinic in Paris had antibody detected by ELISA to LAV. Antibody prevalence to LAV (RIPA) has increased from 1% (1/100) in 1978 to 25% (12/48) in 1980 and 65% (140/215) in 1984 among samples of serum from homosexual men seen at a sexually transmitted disease clinic in San Francisco. Antibody prevalence among the above men tested in 1984 who had no symptoms or clinical signs of AIDS or related conditions was 55% (69/126). In New York City, where the AIDS cases among intravenous (IV) drug users are concentrated, 87% (75/86) of recent heavy IV drug users without AIDS had antibody to LAV by ELISA, while over 58% (50/86) of the same group had antibody to LAV detected by RIPA. In contrast, fewer than 10% of 35 methadone patients from New York City had antibody to LAV detected by RIPA. All of these latter patients had been in treatment for at least three years with greatly reduced IV drug usage. Seventy-two percent (18/25) of asymptomatic persons with hemophilia A in a home-care treatment program demonstrated antibody to LAV antigens utilizing the Western blot technique. All had used factor VIII concentrates from 1980 to 1982.
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