Project: Research project

Project Details


Heterosexual transmission of HTLV-III/LAV, the virus that causes AIDS, has
been well documented and may represent the major route of virus spread into
the general population. The extent of the problem and the factors
associated with heterosexual transmission of HTLV-III/LAV are not well
known. The purpose of the current proposal is to determine the prevalence
and seroconversion rate of HTLV-III/LAV infection in spouses and
heterosexual partners of persons with HTLV-III/LAV will be explored.
Spouses and heterosexual partners of index cases newly diagnosed as having
HTLV-III/LAV infection will be enrolled. Evaluation will include a medical
history, physical examination, an interview, and laboratory tests including
T-cells and antibody to HTLV-III. Spouses/partners found to be
seronegative for HTLV-III will be followed every 4 months for 3 years.
Rates of seroconversion during the study in spouses/partners will be
calculated for the entire group and within several subgroups. Whether the
virus is more efficiently transmitted from women to men or from men to
women will also be evaluated. Of particular importance will be the
evaluation of risk factors and mechanisms associated with heterosexual
transmission of HTLV-III/LAV. Potential risk factors will be assessed by
comparing those spouses/partners who are seronegative for HTLV-III to those
who are seropositive. Factors to be evaluated will include socioeconomic
status, living conditions, life style, and sexual practices including
length of contact, number of sexual encounters, types of sexual activity,
and in particular, use of barrier contraceptives. Although HTLV-III/LAV has been isolated from secretions such as saliva and
tears, transmission other than through sexual or blood contact has not been
documented. Children of index cases with seronegative spouses/partner will
be identified and followed. Children will be grouped according to the
status of HTLV-III/LAV infection in their parents, those of a seropositive
father and seronegative mother and those of a seronegative father and
seropositive mother. Finally, if seropositive children are identified,
follow-up of their siblings who are seronegative for HTLV-III/LAV will
provide another opportunity to evaluate possible household or close contact
spread of HTLV-III/LAV.
Effective start/end date9/30/836/30/94


  • National Institutes of Health: $321,812.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $530,212.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)


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