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Science. 1988 Jun 3;240(4857):1333-5.

A model-based estimate of the mean incubation period for AIDS in homosexual men.

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Division of Injury Epidemiology and Control, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333.


Because of the difficulty in identifying the date of exposure to type 1 of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection in persons other than transfusion recipients, studies of the incubation periods for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) have been limited. When data from a cohort of 84 homosexual and bisexual men that provided the information to determine the years of conversion of sera infected with HIV-1 were analyzed, a model for the proportion likely to develop AIDS and the incubation period for AIDS in homosexual men could be derived. The maximum likelihood estimate for the proportion of infected homosexual men developing AIDS is 0.99 (90% confidence interval ranging from 0.38 to 1). Furthermore, the maximum likelihood estimate for the mean incubation period for AIDS in homosexual men is 7.8 years (90% confidence interval ranging from 4.2 years to 15.0 years), which is close to the estimate of 8.2 years for adults developing transfusion-associated AIDS.

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