Autoantibodies in male homosexuals and HIV infection

Immunol Lett. 1991 Sep;30(1):31-5. doi: 10.1016/0165-2478(91)90086-p.


We have used ELISA to study the frequency of autoantibodies to several antigens in the serum of 17 male homosexuals (MHS) negative for HIV (HIV-), 11 asymptomatic HIV seropositive MHS (HIV+) and patients with ARC (N = 15) or AIDS (N = 13), and compared them to 20 matched healthy heterosexual controls. Serum antibody binding to histones, cardiolipin, ss-A, ss-B and Sm was found to be significantly higher in each of the MHS groups studied as compared to controls (P less than 0.001), and was also increased in the HIV+ patients vs. the HIV- group (P less than 0.05). In contrast, no increase in autoantibodies to ss-DNA, ds-DNA, poly(I), poly(G) or RNP were found in any of the groups tested. These results enlarge the spectrum of autoimmunity previously reported in HIV infection and identify a similar pattern to a lesser degree, already present in HIV- MHS, suggesting a role for HIV or concomitant virus infections in its pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Complex / immunology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology
  • Autoantibodies / analysis*
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • DNA / immunology
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Seropositivity / immunology
  • Homosexuality*
  • Humans
  • Male


  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • DNA