Epidemiology of human immunodeficiency virus in families in lusaka, zambia

S. K. Hira, B. M. Nkowane, J. Kamanga, D. Wadhawan, D. Kavindele, R. Macuacua, G. Mpoko, M. Malek, D. F. Cruess, P. L. Perine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Persons living in the same household as index patients with AIDS or ARC in Lusaka, Zambia were clinically and serologically evaluated for HIV-1 infection. In the 150 households of male index cases, 92 (61.3%) of their spouses were infected, compared with 57 (73.1%) of the spouses of the 78 female index cases. The more advanced the clinical stage of illness in the index cases, the greater the probability of HIV infection in the spouse (RR = 4.44), and the more likely the spouse was symptomatic. Four of the 11 spouses who seroconverted to HIV had also had sexual intercourse at a time when their HIV-infected partner had genital ulcers (RR = 7.45). Of 144 children under 5 years of age, 36 (25.0%) were infected, all had infected mothers and were the last to be borne in all but one household. Three of 120 children 5 to 10 years of age were also infected, presumably through perinatal transmission. Forty-six of 52 discordantly infected couples followed for 1 year continued to have unprotected vaginal intercourse, and 11 (21.2%) of these seroconverted to HIV. There were no HIV infections that could be attributed to transmission by other means than heterosexual intercourse between spouses or by perinatal infection in children borne of infected mothers. The study suggests that there is an increasing risk of HIV heterosexual transmission as infection progresses in the infected partner, and that more effective counseling is needed to prevent it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-86
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV-1
  • Lusaka, Zambia


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