Epidemiologic and laboratory evaluation of homosexual males from an area of low incidence for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)1

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The northeastern Ohio area is currently one of low incidence for the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). From July through December 1983, 17 sexually active healthy homosexual males, 15 men with AIDS-related complex (ARC), and nine patients with AIDS were studied. In contrast to similar studies from high-incidence areas, healthy homosexuals did not have significant laboratory abnormalities, particularly of lymphocyte subpopulations, when compared with heterosexual controls. Epidemiologically, there were no significant differences detected based on travel to epidemic areas or sexual practices between healthy homosexuals and patients with ARC. Furthermore, ARC patients were significantly less sexually active than healthy homosexual controls. It appears that subclinical immunodeficiency is uncommon in areas of low attack rates for AIDS and that studies from low-incidence areas may shed light on the early events in the spread of AIDS.



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