Human Herpesvirus 8 Seropositivity Among Sexually Active Adults in Uganda

University of Nebraska - Lincoln, United States of America
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 06/2011; 6(6):e21286. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021286
Source: PubMed


Sexual transmission of human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8) has been implicated among homosexual men, but the evidence for sexual transmission among heterosexual individuals is controversial. We investigated the role of sexual transmission of HHV8 in a nationally representative sample in Uganda, where HHV8 infection is endemic and transmitted mostly during childhood.
The study population was a subset of participants (n = 2681) from a population-based HIV/AIDS serobehavioral survey of adults aged 15-59 years conducted in 2004/2005. High risk for sexual transmission was assessed by questionnaire and serological testing for HIV and herpes simplex virus 2. Anti-HHV8 antibodies were measured using two enzyme immunoassays targeting synthetic peptides from the K8.1 and orf65 viral genes. The current study was restricted to 2288 sexually active adults. ORs and 95% CIs for HHV8 seropositivity were estimated by fitting logistic regression models with a random intercept using MPLUS and SAS software.
The weighted prevalence of HHV8 seropositivity was 56.2%, based on 1302 seropositive individuals, and it increased significantly with age (P(trend)<0.0001). In analyses adjusting for age, sex, geography, education, and HIV status, HHV8 seropositivity was positively associated with reporting two versus one marital union (OR:1.52, 95% CI: 1.17-1.97) and each unit increase in the number of children born (OR: 1.04, 95% CI: 1.00-1.08), and was inversely associated with ever having used a condom (OR: 0.64, 95% CI: 0.45-0.89). HHV8 seropositivity was not associated with HIV (P = 0.660) or with herpes simplex virus 2 (P = 0.732) seropositivity. Other sexual variables, including lifetime number of sexual partners or having had at least one sexually transmitted disease, and socioeconomic variables were unrelated to HHV8 seropositivity.
Our findings are compatible with the conclusion that sexual transmission of HHV8 in Uganda, if it occurs, is weak.

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    • "However, the possibility of sexual transmission among heterosexual individuals remained controversial. Some reports suggested that heterosexual transmission may contribute to the acquisition of KSHV infections, whereas other reports found that the sexual mode did not play a significant role in KSHV transmission[19-24]. Data from different regions have not been consistent and needs to be further investigated. "
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    • "Detailed analyses of KSHV seropositivity patterns have been assessed and described in previous studies [8,9]. To observe the complete pattern of KSHV seropositivity in Uganda, this study included all questions were asked in the UHSBS including questions with knowledge and attitudes on HIV/AIDS and additional household questions, which was not elicited described in previous studies [8,9,34,35]. "
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