Objective: To estimate the seroprevalence of HHV-8 in several Spanish subpopulations with different risk levels of acquiring HIV-1 infection and from different geographical regions. Design: Cross-sectional seroprevalence study. Methods: A total of 1699 serum samples from blood donors (613), children under the age of 12 years (100), injecting drug users (IDU) (382), heterosexuals attending a sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic (273) and homosexual men attending a STD clinic or a HIV-based hospital unit (331) were analysed for anti-HHV-8 antibodies. The presence of antibodies against HHV-8 was tested with an indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). A subsample of HHV-8-positive samples was also tested for antibody titre against HHV-8. Results: The overall seroprevalence of antibodies against HHV-8 for the blood donor population was 6.5% (7.0% in Andalusia, 8.0% in Catalonia and 4.5% in the Basque Country). None of the children tested positive for HHV-8. The HHV-8 prevalence was 86.7% in HIV-positive homosexual men and 28.0% in HIV-negative homosexual men (P< 0.001). Of heterosexual men attending STD clinics, 17.2% tested positive for HHV-8; 11.5% of IDU tested positive for HHV-8. HHV-8 antibody titres by groups parallel the distribution of HHV-8 prevalence. No association between HHV-8 antibody titres and CD4 cell count or HIV viral load was identified. Conclusions: The HHV-8 prevalence among blood donors in Spain is higher than in Northern Europe and the USA, but is similar to that in Northern Italy. The distribution of HHV-8 is compatible with a sexually transmitted agent. The distribution of HHV-8 correlates with that of Kaposi's sarcoma but factors other than HHV-8 seem to explain the Kaposi sarcoma distribution. © 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
|Publication status||Published - 15 Jun 2001|
- Kaposi's sarcoma