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Am J Epidemiol. 1987 Oct;126(4):568-77.

Factors associated with prevalent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study.


Interviews regarding medical history, life-style, specific drug taking and sexual activities, and physical examinations were administered to 4,955 homosexual men who volunteered for the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study in Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh. Overall, the prevalence of antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in these men was 38.0%. The factor most strongly associated with prevalent HIV infection according to a multiple logistic regression model was rectal trauma, a composite variable which included receptive anal fisting, enemas before sex, reporting of blood around the rectum, and the observation of scarring, fissures or fistulas on rectal examination. Receptive anal intercourse also was strongly associated with HIV infection in the model. The multivariate relative odds for HIV antibody positivity was 7.72 for the highest level of rectal trauma and 3.04 for receptive anal intercourse. Symptoms reported to occur in some persons who subsequently develop acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) were frequent among HIV seropositive men (12.9%) but were reported in 8.4% of seronegative men as well. Generalized lymphadenopathy was observed significantly more often in seropositive men (48.8%) compared with seronegative men (11.4%). The prevalence of HIV antibodies was inversely related to the number of T-helper cells and directly related (to a lesser extent) to the number of T-suppressor cells. The results suggest that disruption of the rectal mucosa provides access by HIV to the blood stream and to specific immunologic cells. Since symptoms and generalized lymphadenopathy were often reported among seronegative men, they probably also occur among some seropositive men not currently progressing to AIDS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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