A Mexican cult member who is accused of gory human sacrifices is suffering from AIDS, a defense attorney and the state news agency Notimex said.

Omar Francisco Orea Ochoa, 23, has acquired immune deficiency syndrome, Notimex said Monday.Judicial officials confirmed Orea had been tranferred to a prison hospital but refused to disclose his illness.

"He has AIDS," defense attorney Horacio Moyar Quintanilla said in a telephone interview. "That's what the doctors told me."

Moyar Quintanilla represents Sara Maria Aldrete Villareal, the woman who prosecutors say was the cult's "godmother."

The lawyer said doctors' reports show Aldrete, 24, does not have the fatal disease though she and Orea Ochoa both were lovers of cult leader Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo, who died in a May 6 shootout with police in Mexico City. Several other cult members also were lovers of the 26-year-old Constanzo, according to court testimony.

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome is a usually fatal disease in which a virus attacks the body's immune system, leaving victims susceptible to a wide variety of infections and cancers.