Summary: Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is etiologically linked to Kaposi's sarcoma, a common cancer in Uganda. The authors assessed HHV-8 seroprevalence, risk factors for infection, and HHV-8 assays in a cross-sectional study of Ugandan blood donors. Of 3,736 specimens, the authors selected 203 reactive for HIV, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), or syphilis, and, randomly, 203 nonreactive specimens. For HHV-8 testing, the authors used two peptide-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (EIAs), ORFK8.1 and ORF65, and an immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Specimens reactive in at least two assays or on IFA alone were considered HHV-8-seropositive. Prevalence estimates were weighted to account for the sampling scheme. Overall HHV-8 seroprevalence was 40%. HHV-8 seroprevalence was higher among HBsAg-positive donors (53%) than HBsAg-negative donors (39%; p = .02) and higher among HIV-positive donors (63%) than HIV-negative donors (39%; p < .001). HHV-8 seroreactivity showed no trend with age. Kappa values for assay concordances were 0.68 (ORFK8.1 EIA and IFA), 0.37 (ORF65 EIA and K8.1 EIA), and 0.29 (ORF65 EIA and IFA). The association between HHV-8 and HBsAg positivity and the lack of association between HHV-8 and age point to primarily nonsexual HHV-8 transmission during childhood. The association with HIV indicates sexual transmission may also occur. The role of ORF65 EIA in testing specimens from Africa warrants further evaluation.
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