Lymphoproliferative Diseases and Kaposi’s Sarcoma in Homosexual Males

  • Donald Abrams


On July 3, 1981, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia reported ten cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) and 22 cases of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) in previously healthy young homosexual men (1). A syndrome of acquired immunodeficiency (AIDS) underlies the appearance of these often fatal illnesses in this subpopulation of male homosexuals (2–9). The problem has reached epidemic proportions with 1.2 new cases being reported to the CDC daily. More men have died as a consequence of this syndrome than the combined total of all deaths from toxic shock syndrome and the initial outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease. With the recognition of AIDS in heterosexual patients predominantly intravenous drug abusers, Haitian nationals and refugees, and a few hemophiliacs (10,11) — investigations to define the etiology of the underlying immune dysfunction have been intensified. Clustering of cases in the homosexual community has implied a transmissible agent is responsible for AIDS (12). A viral etiology seems most plausible. The possibility of an underlying genetic predisposition to aberrant handling of a common viral infection is reminiscent of the model of Purtilo’s X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome (13–16).


Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia Homosexual Male Viral Capsid Antigen Secondary Primary Malignancy 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald Abrams
    • 1
  1. 1.Cancer Research InstituteUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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