Background: Epidemiologic studies have indicated that human herpesvirus 8 is implicated in the development of Kaposi sarcoma in different geographic areas worldwide.
Goal: To provide information on the prevalence of human herpesvirus 8 in Brazil and its association with Kaposi sarcoma.
Study design: An immunofluorescence assay was performed to test 1,044 serum samples from 747 blood donors, 73 patients presenting to casualty departments, and 224 patients attending sexually transmitted disease/AIDS clinics. The sexually transmitted disease group was composed of 88 patients with HIV (40 Kaposi sarcoma positive, 48 Kaposi sarcoma negative) and 136 patients without HIV.
Results: Antibodies to human herpesvirus 8-latent nuclear antigens were found in 34 blood donors (4.6%), and in seven casualty patients (9.6%). The highest frequency of human herpesvirus 8 antibodies was found in the sexually transmitted disease group: 32 HIV-positive patients with Kaposi sarcoma (80%) and seven patients without Kaposi sarcoma (14.6%).
Conclusion: The presence of human herpesvirus 8 in patients with HIV was strongly associated with Kaposi sarcoma (odds ratio, 23.4; 95% CI, 7.7-71.4), male gender, homosexual or bisexual orientation, and hepatitis B virus infection, but not with the other sexually transmitted diseases that were investigated.