Intended for healthcare professionals

Papers And Short Reports

Seropositivity for HIV and the development of AIDS or AIDS related condition: three year follow up of the San Francisco General Hospital cohort

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988; 296 doi: (Published 12 March 1988) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988;296:745
  1. Andrew R Moss,
  2. Peter Bacchetti,
  3. Dennis Osmond,
  4. Walter Krampf,
  5. Richard E Chaisson,
  6. Daniel Stites,
  7. Judith Wilber,
  8. Jean-Pierre Allain,
  9. James Carlson


    The three year actuarial progression rate to the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in a cohort of men in San Francisco who were seropositive for the human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) was 22%. An additional 26 (19%) developed AIDS related conditions. β2 Microglobulin concentration, packed cell volume, HIV p24 antigenaemia, and the proportion and number of T4 lymphocytes each independently predicted progression to AIDS. β2 Microglobulin was the most powerful predictor. The 111 subjects tested who were normal by all predictors (40%) had a three year progression rate of 7%, and the 68 subjects who were abnormal by two or more predictors (24%) had a progression rate of 57%. Two thirds of all men who progressed to AIDS were in the last group. The median T4 lymphocyte count in subjects who did not progress to AIDS fell from 626 × 106 to 327 × 106/1. HIV p24 antigenaemia developed in 7% of the subjects per year. The proportion who were abnormal by two or more predictive variables rose to 41%. At three years an estimated two thirds of the seropositive subjects showed clinical AIDS, an AIDS related condition, or laboratory results that were highly predictive of AIDS.

    It is concluded from the observed rates and the distribution of predictive variables at three years that half of the men who were seropositive for HIV will develop AIDS by six years after the start of the study, and three quarters will develop AIDS or an AIDS related condition.