The prevalence of renal disease associated with the ac quired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is unknown, but ap pears to vary in different regions. Centers in New York, NY, and Miami, Fla, have reported patients with renal disease complicat ing AIDS. These populations have included large proportions of black patients and intravenous drug abusers. Reports from San Francisco, Calif, have suggested the prevalence of renal disease complicating AIDS is low, but the population was composed primarily of white patients, with a low proportion of drug abusers. The George Washington University Medical Center was the site of treatment for 31.4% of the patients with AIDS in Washington, DC. This population was split roughly evenly between black and white patients. A retrospective survey of patients with both AIDS and renal disease revealed approximately two thirds of the pa tients were black, reflecting the demographics of the population with AIDS; 11% of patients had intravenous drug abuse as a risk factor for the development of AIDS; and 74% had acute renal failure. Of these patients, approximately equal proportions were black and white. Twenty-six percent of the population had chron ic renal failure, but the overwhelming proportion were black. There were no differences between proportions of patients in age, sex, race, or risk factors in patients with acute renal failure and chronic renal failure, but there was a significant difference in the proportions of black and white patients with chronic renal failure. The reason for these differences is unknown, but differ ences in host responses to viral proteins, physiologic adapta tions, or socioeconomic factors in these populations may play an important role in mediating the expression of renal disease in individual patients.
(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:125-128)