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AIDS Wkly Plus. 1999 Jul 12-19:3-4.

CDC warns of HIV "clusters" in low-prevalence areas.



The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported an outbreak of HIV infection among a group of young women in rural Chautauqua county, New York, who apparently contracted HIV from a single, highly infectious man. Although the index case refused to donate blood for analysis, 13 of the 47 women who had sex with the man became infected. The 10 primary contacts who provided blood samples for analysis were infected with highly similar viruses. The 13 women who apparently acquired HIV from the index case had sex with 84 secondary contacts. The resulting AIDS scare led to the counseling and HIV testing of approximately 1400 people in the county, which led to the identification of other HIV-infected individuals unrelated to the index case. The 31% rate of infection transmitted by the index case suggests that HIV can be spread rapidly by only a few individuals. It used to be thought that a person is most likely to transmit HIV either during acute infection, before the immune system has fully responded to the virus, or late in infection when the immune system has been destroyed. Neither sexually transmitted diseases nor IV drug use was associated with HIV transmission in this cluster of cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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