Rising prevalence of human T-lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III) infection in homosexual men in London

Lancet. 1985 Jun 1;1(8440):1261-2. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(85)92324-4.


The prevalence of antibody to HTLV-III has increased from 3.7% (4/107) amongst unselected British homosexual men attending a London sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic during one week in March, 1982, to 21% (26/124) in those attending during one week in July, 1984. Seropositive men had a significantly higher prevalence of infection with hepatitis B virus than did seronegative men. 82% (27/33) of the seropositive men in 1984 were symptomless or had only local genito-urinary symptoms referable to the STD for which they were attending. The evidence suggests that HTLV-III was initially an imported but is now an endemic sexually transmitted agent. As of July, 1984, at least 2600 homosexual men in London would probably have been infected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis*
  • Deltaretrovirus / immunology*
  • Europe / ethnology
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies / analysis
  • Homosexuality*
  • Humans
  • London
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North America / ethnology
  • Retroviridae Infections / epidemiology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies