Research Article

AIDS and haemophilia: morbidity and morality in a well defined population.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 291 doi: (Published 14 September 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;291:695
  1. P Jones,
  2. P J Hamilton,
  3. G Bird,
  4. M Fearns,
  5. A Oxley,
  6. R Tedder,
  7. R Cheingsong-Popov,
  8. A Codd


    One hundred and forty-three multitransfused patients with hereditary haemostatic disorders were examined for evidence of disease related to the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Ninety-nine patients with severe haemophilia A were tested for anti-HTLV-III and 76 were found to be positive. All except one of these seropositive patients had received commercial factor VIII concentrates at some time. Eighteen patients with haemophilia B were tested and all were anti-HTLV-III negative. Three out of 36 sexual partners of patients with haemophilia A positive for anti-HTLV-III were also seropositive. One, who had recently received blood transfusions, had AIDS with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. Three patients with severe haemophilia A died from Aids. A further 30 haemophiliacs had AIDS related complex or lymphadenopathy that could be related to HTLV-III infection. There was a significant correlation between lymphadenopathy and anti-HTLV-III seropositivity. No evidence of casual spread of AIDS was found since all 68 health care staff tested were anti-HTLV-III negative, including three surgeons who regularly worked with patients positive for anti-HTLV-III. The resources devoted to counselling and laboratory support in centres treating people at risk and their families need to be urgently reassessed.