Human Herpes virus 8 can be transmitted through blood in drug addicts

C. Sosa, J. Benetucci, C. Hanna, L. Sieczkowski, G. Deluchi, A. M. Canizal, H. Mantina, W. Klaskala, M. Baum, C. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Human Herpes virus type-8 (HHV-8) seroprevalence was studied in a population of HIV positive intravenous drug users (IVDUs) from Argentina. Analysis of this population also indirectly made it possible to study HHV-8 blood transmission, because these individuals frequently engage in needle sharing behavior and are capable of acquiring a broad array of blood borne pathogens, including Hepatitis B/C virus. The seroprevalence of HHV-8 in IVDUs was compared to a group of non-IVDUs and HIV negative individuals. Of the 223 individuals tested, 13.45% were HHV-8 positive, 16.99% in the IVDUs group, and 5.71% in the non-IVDUs. Among HIV positive IVDUs, 25/144 (17.36%) were also HHV-8 seropositive. The seropositivity rate of HHV-8 in HIV negative IVDUs was 11.1%. In contrast, HHV-8 seroprevalence in HIV negative heterosexual individuals without drug usage behavior was even lower (5.71%). The rate of HHV-8 infection in HIV positive IVDUs was three times as high compared to the non IVDU HIV negative individuals, suggesting that IVDU is a risk for HHV-8 infection. Furthermore, it was found that IVDUs showed a very high rate of Hepatitis B/C (52.77%), which also correlate with HHV-8 infection in this population (23.68%). All Hepatitis B/C positive individuals were also HIV positive. Our data confirm other studies showing that individuals who share needles are at risk for acquiring Hepatitis B/C and HIV infections. In addition, our results suggest that they are also at risk to acquiring HHV-8 infection by the same route.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-294
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • HHV-8
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis
  • IVDU
  • Seroprevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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