HTLV-III infection in the RSA
The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
[No abstract available]
The diagnosis of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related complex (ARC) was initially based on strict clinical and laboratory criteria of acquired immune deficiency. Specific diagnostic tests for HTLV-Ill infection only became available after the' isolation of the causative virus in France in 1983 and subsequently in the USA and elsewhere. There are at present about 12000 patients with AIDS and I million infected people in the USA, where attempts to control the infection are being complicated by increasing heterosexual transmission. A similar pattern is emerging in both Western and Eastern Europe. In tJ:1e RSA commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits are in the process of evaluation by several laboratories and blood transfusion services. However, the sera-epidemiological data presented here are the somewhat limited currently available ones based on immunofluorescent antibody assay (IFA) to demonstrate specific HTLV-Ill serum antibodies.
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