Some babies with the AIDS virus have facial deformities known as dysmorphic syndrome that researchers believe may reveal the presence of the deadly disease long before the victims become ill.

Dr. Arye Rubinstein, writing in the government journal Research Resources Reporter, said the dysmorphic syndrome deformities include increased distance between the eyes, prominent boxlike foreheads, flat nose bridges, mild upward or downward slant of the eyes and long eyelid fissures.Infected babies may also have a blue tinge to the white section of their eyes and have shortened noses, a well-formed triangular groove in the upper lips and distended lips, he said.

Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, normally leaves no outward signs of its presence, and most adults are normal in appearance and health for between eight and 10 years before symptoms of acute AIDS develop.

The AIDS virus is transmitted through sexual activities, intravenous drug abuse, contaminated blood and blood products and from an infected mother to her child.

Rubenstein, a pediatrics and immunology professor at New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said he documented the syndrome in 20 infants.