Patients infected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as a result of blood transfusions are unique in that their dates of infection are well defined and their medical conditions before infection are known. To characterize the natural history of transfusion-associated HIV infection, we studied 694 recipients of blood from 112 donors in whom AIDS later developed and from 31 donors later found to be positive for HIV antibody. Of the recipients tested, 85 were seronegative, 116 were seropositive, and 19 had AIDS. Of 101 HIV-seropositive recipients followed for a median of 55 months after infection, 54 had Centers for Disease Control Class IV disease, including 43 with AIDS. Life-table analysis suggested that AIDS will develop in 49 percent of infected recipients (95 percent confidence limits, 36 to 62 percent) within seven years after infection. As compared with recipients without AIDS, the 43 recipients with AIDS had received more transfusions at the time of infection (median, 21 vs. 7; P = 0.01). HIV-infected blood donors in whom AIDS developed were grouped according to whether AIDS developed within 29 months (the median) after donation (Group 1) or 29 or more months after donation (Group 2). As compared with the 31 recipients of blood from Group 2 blood donors, the 31 recipients of blood from Group 1 donors were more likely to have AIDS four years after infection (49 percent vs. 4 percent; P = 0.005) and illnesses resembling acute retroviral syndrome (14 of 24 vs. 5 of 22; P = 0.33). We conclude that most recipients of HIV-infected blood become seropositive, that AIDS develops in about half these recipients within seven years, and that the risk may be higher when AIDS develops in the blood donor soon after donation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||New England Journal of Medicine|
|State||Published - 1989|
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