Background: HIV-infected homosexual men are more frequently diagnosed with Kaposi's
sarcoma. With the increase of HIV-infected homosexual men in China, we urgently need to
know the KS-related human herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV-8) seroprevalence in this population. To investigate
HHV-8 prevalence among HIV-positive homosexual men, we recruited 183 patients naive
of antiretroviral therapy (ART) whose blood samples presented with HIV-antibody positive as confirmed
by western blot.
Methods: HIV viral load was tested using Cobas TaqMan HIV-1 test Version 2.0, and CD4 T cell
counts were tested using a Flow cytometry instrument. All HIV-positive blood samples were collected
and screened for KSHV. Immunofluorescence (IFA) test was conducted for HHV-8-Specific
antibodies (anti-LANA) in the plasma. HHV-8 DNA in whole blood cells of IFA-positive subjects
was quantified with Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
Results: All samples showed HIV RNA positive. CD4+ T cell count was 23% cases (42/183) which
showed ≤200 cells/μL, 51.3% cases (94/183) showed 201-500 cells/μL and 25.7% cases (47/183)
showed ≥501 cells/μL. Immunofluorescence (IFA) test demonstrated an HHV-8 prevalence of
50.8% (93/183), among which 20.4% of the cases (19/93) were HHV-8 DNA positive. HHV-8 infection
showed no difference among different age groups (p=0.96). Similarly, HHV-8 infection exhibited
no significant difference among different HIV viral load groups (p=0.08). However, HHV-8
infection among different CD4+ T cell count showed significant difference (P=0.0004).
Conclusion: This study showed a high seroprevalence of human herpesvirus 8 infection in HIVpositive