A clinico-epidemiological study is reported concerning a group of 306 parenteral drug addicts (PDAs), 71 of whom were affected with the lymphadenopathy syndrome (LAS); all were followed-up between 1981 and 1984. Although full-blown acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) was observed only in one case, none of the other patients examined have undergone complete recovery so far. The results of our study point to a wide circulation of LAV/HTLV III among our group of PDAs, starting at least as early as 1981 and preceding by a few months the development of clinical signs and symptoms of LAS. A peak incidence of the latter was observed during the winter of 1983/1984, running parallel with a marked increase in seropositives for LAV/HTLV III antibody. Drug addiction, sexual promiscuity and a low standard of living all seem to play a decisive role in the spread of the infection and, consequently, of the diseases related to it (LAS, AIDS-related complex and AIDS). In fact, PDAs appear to represent the major source of the disease in Italy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)