Epidemiologic patterns of upper respiratory illness and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in homosexual men

D. R. Hoover*, N. M H Graham, H. Bacellar, L. K. Schrager, R. Kaslow, B. Visscher, R. Murphy, R. Anderson, A. Saah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The relationship between self-reported upper respiratory illness symptoms (URI) and human immunodeficiency virus Type 1 (HIV-1) was examined in homosexual men using semiannual visits from 1984 to 1988. Temporal and geographic patterns of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) diagnosis in these men during the same time period are also described. URI, including acute sinusitis, was reported more often by 916 HIV-1-seropositive participants than by 2,161 seronegative participants (32.21 versus 28.86% p < 0.001). For 387 seropositive subjects who progressed to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), the proportion reporting URI peaked one visit pre-AIDS at a level significantly higher than matched control subjects (0.45 versus 0.28, p ≤ 0.001). The peak was higher for those with PCP as an initial diagnosis. Reported URI peaked in winter and troughed in summer, and PCP diagnosis rates peaked and troughed 4 months later, respectively. Cities with the highest reported rates of URI also had the highest proportions of AIDS cases with PCP as an initial diagnosis. No temporal or geographic patterns were observed for other HIV-1-related symptoms or non-PCP AIDS diagnoses. These patterns suggest the possibility of a person-to-person transmission of P. carinii similar to that of other respiratory pathogens, which would imply a need to consider stricter methods to prevent nosocomial transmission of this pathogen in inpatient and outpatient settings. Further investigation of these issues is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)756-759
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Review of Respiratory Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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