HTLV-III exposure among drug users

H. M. Ginzburg, S. H. Weiss, M. G. MacDonald, R. L. Hubbard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The Centers for Disease Control hierarchical classification of those at risk for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) underestimates the number of cases in which illicit drug use may play a role in the exposure to human T-cell leukemia virus type III. The immunosuppressive effects of nitrite inhalants are not sufficiently documented to elucidate their role as a cofactor in the development of AIDS. The currently available data on the immunosuppressive effects of self-administered parenteral drugs and their diluents indicate an associated elevation of immunoglobulin M, depressed helper/suppression T-cell ratios, and even damage to DNA. Illicit psychoactive drugs and their diluents may influence the virulence of the virus among parenteral drug users. An association between parenteral drug use and prostitution is not unexpected. Female prostitutes who use parenteral drugs may be at high risk for exposure to the virus and thus may transmit this infectious agent to their clients and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4605s-4608s
JournalCancer Research
Issue number9 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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