The acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a novel epidemic form of immunodeficiency that has been widely recognized within the last six years. AIDS is characterized by Kaposi's sarcoma, B cell lymphoma, and/or life-threatening opportunistic infections superimposed on an immune deficiency state which consists of lymphopenia with a selective depletion of the CD4 T cells. In addition, lymphocytes from AIDS patients show decreased responses to antigen or mitogen stimulation in vitro. Although the secondary infections and malignancies seen in these patients may be successfully treated, the underlying immune defect persists, leaving the patient susceptible to further complications.
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