The incubation period of human immuno-deficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection was studied in a family of five in which vertical and heterosexual transmission occurred from one index case. This investigation documented incubation periods of longer than 12 years in a mother and her daughter; although neither has symptoms, both are definitely infected and have very low CD4+-lymphocyte counts. The study confirmed the predictions of incubation periods longer than 10 years in a small proportion of infected individuals. It provides evidence that vertically HIV-1-infected teenagers can be expected to appear in the population.
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