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Followup Study of Possible HIV Seropositivity among Abusers of Parenteral Drugs in 1971-72

W. Robert Lange, John C. Ball, William H. Adler, Edward Brown, Robert Pyle, William Hoffman and Elizabeth M. Dax
Public Health Reports (1974-)
Vol. 106, No. 4 (Jul. - Aug., 1991), pp. 451-455
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4596962
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Followup Study of Possible HIV Seropositivity among Abusers of Parenteral Drugs in 1971-72
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Abstract

Serum specimens obtained from a nationwide sample of parenteral drug abusers (PDAs) during the period 1971-72 had previously been screened for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibodies. Some specimens were considered to be positive to both ELISA and Western blot (WB) analysis. These findings have been a topic of controversy, since HIV was not thought to have penetrated at-risk populations at such an early date. This study was a followup of those PDAs with apparent seropositivity to WB analysis. Of 10 persons followed, only one death (in 1985) was documented, and postmortem findings were inconsistent with HIV infection. Eight of the remaining PDAs were traced and found to be alive and well in 1989. Fresh specimens were obtained from the two persons with the strongest 1971-72 WB staining and were found to be both ELISA and WB negative on retesting. Their T-cell parameters were within normal limits. We concluded that the earlier WB results were most likely false positives and that definitive evidence of HIV infection in the U.S. addict population as early as 1971-72 is still lacking.

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