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Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in an Economically Disadvantaged Population

Shlomo Maayan, MD; Gary P. Wormser, MD; Dial Hewlett, MD; Steven N. Miller, MD; Frederick P. Duncanson, MD; Angela Rodriguez, MD; Elliott N. Perla, MD; Barbara Koppel, MD; Egmond E. Rieber, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(9):1607-1612. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360090071013.
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• Forty patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), 70% of whom were intravenous drug abusers (IVDAs), were seen over a 20-month period (July 1,1981, through Feb 28, 1983). Most of the patients came from two inner-city sections of New York City and from nearby correctional facilities. Eighty-five percent of the patients were black or Hispanic; only 15% were white. Unique features of AIDS in this mostly heterosexual population were the high incidence of opportunistic infections (90% of the patients), the low incidence of Kaposi's sarcoma (10%), and the high mortality rate (34% died during initial hospitalization, 74% after one year of follow-up). Tuberculosis occurred in 10% of cases, preceding other opportunistic infections by four to 24 months. We found that AIDS was a common disease among inpatient IVDAs, and in one of the participating hospitals, its incidence was similar to that of infective endocarditis. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome should be considered


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