Journal Article

Lack of Evidence for Frequent Heterosexual Transmission of Human Herpesvirus 8 in Zimbabwe

Thomas B. Campbell, Margaret Borok, Buxton Ndemera, Suzanne Fiorillo, Irene E. White, Xing-quan Zhang, Rhoderick N. Machekano, David Katzenstein and Lovemore Gwanzura

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 48, issue 11, pages 1601-1608
Published in print June 2009 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online June 2009 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/598978
Lack of Evidence for Frequent Heterosexual Transmission of Human Herpesvirus 8 in Zimbabwe

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Background. There is conflicting evidence about the contribution of heterosexual transmission to the spread of human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) in southern Africa. This study evaluated the hypothesis that HHV-8 infection is associated with risk factors for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and other sexually transmitted infections among Zimbabwean men.

Methods. HHV-8 seroprevalence was determined for 2750 participants in the Zimbabwe AIDS Prevention Project cohort of male factory workers in Harare, Zimbabwe. Potential associations of HHV-8 antibody detection with risk factors for HIV-1 infection were examined by univariate analysis. Variables with P<.1 in the univariate analysis were included in a multivariate logistic regression model. HHV-8 seroprevalence was also determined among 297 heterosexual couples.

Results. Prevalence of HHV-8, HIV-1, and HHV-8 and HIV-1 coinfection was 28.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 26.8%–30.2%), 19.5% (95% CI, 18.0%–20.9%), and 6.5% (95% CI, 5.6%–7.5%), respectively. Detection of HHV-8 antibodies was independently associated with older age and HIV-1 infection but not with number of recent sex partners, marital status, education, condom use, prior sexually transmitted infections, payment for sex, chronic hepatitis B infection, or incident HIV-1 infection. HHV-8 seroprevalence was 31.7% (95% CI, 26.3–37.0) among wives in the couples tested, but HHV-8 infection of wives was not associated with HHV-8 infection of husbands (odds ratio, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.62–1.88; P=.8).

Conclusions. HHV-8 and HIV-1 infection did not have common sexual risk factors among urban Zimbabwean men. Sexual transmission does not explain the high prevalence of HHV-8 in this population.

Journal Article.  4250 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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