HIV-serology and lymphocyte subsets in relation to therapy and clinical development in haemophiliacs
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389 Swedish patients with haemophilia A, B or von Willebrand's disease were examined for HIV-1 antibodies. T-cell subsets were measured in 260 of them. HIV-1 antibodies were found in 98 of these patients. Of the 199 patients with severe or moderate haemophilia A, 44% were seropositive. They had seroconverted between 1979 and 1983. HIV-1-seropositive patients had significantly decreased numbers of CD4 cells and increased numbers of CD8 cells. The seronegative haemophilia A patients had significantly increased numbers of CD8 cells. The T-cell subsets were followed for a median of 40 months in 73 seropositive patients. All groups of patients, at different clinical stages, showed decreasing numbers of CD4 cells. The most pronounced decrease was seen in the patients who developed AIDS, followed by the group which developed HIV-related signs or symptoms. HIV antigen in serum and antibody pattern in Western blot and ELISA were followed in 89 patients. HIV-1 antigen was present and p24 antibodies were lacking in 11% and 13% of asymptomatic subjects, in 13% and 20% of patients with persistent generalized lymphadenopathy, in 33% and 38% of patients with other HIV-related signs or symptoms and in 5/6 of the AIDS patients, respectively. In conclusion, the decrease of CD4 cells and the presence of HIV antigen and/or absence of p24 antibodies were found to be prognostic markers for HIV disease.
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