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Current Trends Update: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) -- United States

Between June 1981 and August 1, 1983, physicians and health departments in the United States and Puerto Rico reported 1,972 cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) meeting the surveillance definition*. These cases were diagnosed in patients who have Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) or an opportunistic infection suggestive of an underlying cellular immunodeficiency. Three hundred thirty-one cases (17% of the total) were reported to CDC over the last 6 weeks; the average of 53 cases reported per week during July 1983 compares with an average of 11 per week in July 1982 and 24 per week in January 1983 (Figure 1). Of all patients, 759 (38%) are known to have died; the mortality rate for patients with opportunistic infections continues to be over twice that of patients with KS alone. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) is the most common life-threatening opportunistic infection in AIDS patients; many of the patients may have multiple opportunistic infections, either sequentially or simultaneously. Of the reported cases, 71% have homosexual or bisexual orientation; 95% of the patients with KS are in this group.

Over 90% of AIDS patients are 20-49 years old; almost 47% are 30-39 years old. Cases have occurred in all primary racial groups in the United States. One hundred twenty-nine (7%) cases have been reported in women; the ratio of male to female patients (14:1) has been almost constant over the last year. Most cases are reported among residents of large cities. New York City has reported 44% of all cases meeting the surveillance definition; San Francisco, 10% of cases; and Los Angeles, 6% of cases. Cases have been reported from 39 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico (Figure 2). Reported by city, state, and territorial epidemiologists; AIDS Activity, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC.

Editorial Note

Editorial Note: To date, CDC has been notified that at least 18 states and territories have made AIDS reportable, and approximately 26 have introduced or are considering measures to make it reportable. Some states that have not taken specific action have cancer registries or already require many opportunistic infections to be reported. Physicians aware of patients fitting the case definition for AIDS are requested to report such cases through their local or state health departments. AIDS patients who do not belong to any of the recognized risk groups or who are recipients of blood or blood products (including anti-hemophiliac factors) should be reported immediately. CDC will soon make available a reporting format by which patients' names need not be sent to CDC.

Concern has been expressed about potential transmission of AIDS from hospitalized patients to health-care personnel (1). Although no instance of direct transmission has been reported (2), accidental needlestick injuries or similar types of accidents occasionally occur. To evaluate the possible risk of AIDS transmission after such accidents, the Hospital Infections Program, CDC, in cooperation with several state health departments, has initiated a study at selected hospitals of health-care personnel who have had documented parenteral or mucous membrane exposure to blood of definite or suspected AIDS patients. This study is being expanded to include additional hospitals. Hospital infection control staff who have been notified of these types of personnel exposures in their hospitals and wish to obtain additional information about participation in the study should hospitals of health-care personnel who have had documented parenteral or mucous membrane exposure to blood of definite or suspected AIDS patients. This study is being expanded to include additional hospitals. Hospital infection control staff who have been notified of these types of personnel exposures in their hospitals and wish to obtain additional information about participation in the study should contact the Hospital Infections Program, (404) 329-3406.

References

  1. CDC. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS): precautions for clinical and laboratory staffs. MMWR 1982;31:577-80.

  2. CDC. An evaluation of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) reported in health-care personnel--United States. MMWR 1983;32:358-60.



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