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Immunological and Virological Clues for Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV-1 and HIV-2

Steven D. Douglas, MD
JAMA. 1994;272(6):487-488. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520060087037.
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There will be more than 15 million women infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), 3 million HIV-positive infants, and more than 2 million children with pediatric acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) worldwide by the year 2000, according to estimated projections.1 The rate of transmission of HIV-1 from an infected woman to her fetus or infant ranges from 13% to 32% in industrialized countries to 25% to 48% in developing countries.1 In addition to HIV-1, a second virus causing AIDS, HIV type 2 (HIV-2) has been isolated from individuals from Guinea Bissau, The Gambia, and the Ivory Coast, West Africa. Differing from HIV-1 strains by more than 55% in sequence analysis, HIV-2 may have a different immunopathogenesis than HIV-1. In this issue of THE JOURNAL, Adjorlolo et al2 report perinatal transmission in dually infected women (determined by polymerase chain reaction analysis of leukocytes) from a lower socioeconomic


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