Epidemiology and Natural History of HIV Infection: An Overview

  • I. V. D. Weller


In the summer of 1981 reports of 5 cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) and 26 cases of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) amongst homosexual men in Los Angeles, California and New York represented the first description of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) (Friedman-Kien et al, 1981, 1982; Gottlieb et al, 1981a,b). It was not realized at this time, of course, that the causative agent was already present in persons in four other continents. The virus, variously named, was first discovered in 1983 (Barré-Sinoussi et al, 1983; Gallo et al, 1983). The first antibody tests were developed in 1984. In 1986 the sub-committee of the International Committee for the Taxonomy of Viruses suggested that the generic name for the virus should be the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (Biberfield et al, 1987). By this time the CD4 antigen had been identified as the cellular receptor for HIV and the first trials of the antiviral agent zidovudine were demonstrating efficacy in patients with symptomatic disease (Fischl et al, 1987).


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Herpes Zoster Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia 
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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1993

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  • I. V. D. Weller

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