Rock Hudson has AIDS and has been suffering from the usually fatal disease for more than a year, a spokeswoman said today.
The 59-year-old actor, whose emaciated looks in a TV appearance with former co-star Doris Day a week ago startled his fans, is also being treated at the American Hospital of Paris for an undetermined liver ailment, his spokeswoman, Yanou Collart, said.
The statement she read to reporters said: "Rock Hudson has acquired immune deficiency syndrome."
The statement said the film and television star's malady had been "diagnosed over a year ago" but did not say exactly when the tests were conducted. A spokesman in Los Angeles indicated that the diagnosis was made there.
'Cured . . . Totally'
However, Collart then told reporters Hudson was presently not suffering the symptoms of AIDS. She said tests for the disease done two weeks ago in the United States showed "he was not having any virus any more."
Asked whether that meant Hudson had been cured of AIDS or whether the symptoms were merely in remission, Collart replied, "No no, cured . . . totally."
In Washington, Dr. Samuel Broder, head of the clinical oncology program at the National Cancer Institute and an expert on experimental AIDS treatments, said today there is no data to suggest that any current treatment can cure AIDS. Officials at the American Hospital of Paris, where Hudson is a patient, refused comment.
The actor's Hollywood spokesman said today that Hudson is "lucid, joking . . . and in quite good spirits" and appears to be recovering from AIDS.
"He's feeling much better and is in quite good spirits," said Dale Olson, who met with the press briefly at the offices of the Rogers & Cowan publicity firm in Beverly Hills but referred most questions to doctors treating Hudson in Paris.
He confirmed that Hudson's doctors in Los Angeles diagnosed the actor as suffering from AIDS a year ago and that "he went to Paris to seek additional treatments."
However, Olson, who had announced earlier that Hudson had liver cancer, said he was personally unaware of the AIDS diagnosis until it was announced in Paris today.
AIDS is an often-deadly ailment that depletes the body's natural immune system and leaves it open to attack by other diseases.
AIDS is most likely to strike homosexuals, abusers of injectable drugs and hemophiliacs. It is apparently spread by sexual contact, contaminated needles and blood transfusions, but not by casual contact.
Asked what Hudson's chances of survival were, Collart said only, "All that we can (do is) hope."
An assistant for Collart, who asked not to be named, said Hudson had come to Paris to see AIDS specialists because his most recent examination showed little trace of AIDS and that Hudson had wanted a second medical opinion.
Series of Tests Run
Collart said that "prior to meeting the specialist, he became very ill at the Ritz Hotel and his personal business manager Mark Miller advised him . . . to enter the American Hospital immediately."
"The physicians at the American Hospital conducted a series of diagnostic examinations on Mr. Hudson," the statement said. "At the time they suspected but did not know about Mr. Hudson's AIDS diagnosis."
Collart said doctors hope to perform a liver biopsy to diagnose the abnormality "when he is strong enough." She said that she had seen Hudson minutes before meeting with reporters and that he was improving daily.
Collart indicated that Hudson would eventually return to the United States but said she did not know when.
"A decision on his future treatment will be made in the near future," she said.