Detection of human herpesvirus 8 DNA in semen from HIV-infected individuals but not healthy semen donors

AIDS. 1997 Feb;11(2):F15-9. doi: 10.1097/00002030-199702000-00001.


Objective: To ascertain the prevalence of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), also known as human herpesvirus (HHV) type 8, and cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA in semen was investigated.

Methods: Amplification by nested polymerase chain reaction was used to detect viral DNA sequences in samples from 24 HIV-infected gay men, 15 of them with Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), and 115 healthy donors.

Results: Six of the 24 HIV-infected patients had detectable HHV-8 DNA in their semen: three of the 15 patients with KS and three of the nine patients without KS. CMV DNA was detected in 20 semen samples from HIV-infected patients. None of the semen samples from healthy donors had detectable HHV-8 DNA and rates of CMV DNA detection were low (3%).

Conclusions: The study demonstrates the presence of HHV-8 in semen from HIV-infected individuals with, or at risk, of developing KS and the potential for sexual transmission of the virus. We found no evidence of HHV-8 in the semen of HIV-uninfected donors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cytomegalovirus / genetics
  • Cytomegalovirus / isolation & purification
  • DNA, Viral / analysis*
  • HIV Infections / virology*
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Semen / virology*


  • DNA, Viral