Forty-five adults with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and their 45 spouses, 109 children, and 29 household contacts were studied for evidence of heterosexual, perinatal, and household spread of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III) infection. Of the 45 spouses enrolled, 26 (58%) had antibody to HTLV-III, including 12 (71%) of 17 male spouses and 14 (50%) of 28 female spouses. Of the 12 seropositive male spouses, nine were seropositive at enrollment and three had seroconversion. Of the 14 seropositive female spouses, four were seropositive at enrollment and ten seroconverted. Lack of barrier contraceptive use and oral sex were associated with seroconversion. Of the 109 children enrolled, 15 had AIDS or an AIDS-related illness, two had evidence of passive transfer of maternal antibodies, and two had HTLV-III infection acquired outside the household. None of the 90 seronegative children seroconverted. Of 29 household contacts studied, none developed antibody to HTLV-III.
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