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Isr J Med Sci. 1993 Oct;29(10 Suppl):19-23.

Epidemiological and immunological study of HIV-seropositive Ethiopian immigrants in Israel. The Israel AIDS Study Group.

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Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Rambam Medical Center and B. Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Haifa, Israel.


A cohort of 243 HIV-seropositive Ethiopian immigrants has been studied clinically and immunologically since their arrival in Israel in May 1991. The prevalence of HIV infection in this Ethiopian community is 1.74%, with a male to female ratio of 1.3:1. The median age is 30 years; women are somewhat younger (median 29) than men (median 33). The prevalence of HIV infection among Ethiopian immigrants is similar to the estimated rate found in the general population in Ethiopia (1.85%). Blood median counts of CD4 positive and CD8 positive T cells on first determination were 391 and 878 x 10(6)/l respectively. The number of HIV carriers with CD4 levels below 300 and 200 x 10(6)/l in a subcohort of 172 individuals was 52 (30.2%) and 26 (15.1%), respectively. The vast majority (> 90%) of the cohort are still clinically asymptomatic. This, and the fact that immigrants tested prior to 1991 were all HIV negative, attest to the recent introduction of HIV infection into this population. In spite of the recency of HIV infection, CD4 counts were relatively low in a high proportion of infected individuals.

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