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Herpesvirus Is a Strong Predictor of Kaposi’s Sarcoma

Herpesvirus Is a Strong Predictor of Kaposi’s Sarcoma

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HIV-positive gay men have a high risk of developing Kaposi's sarcoma and new associated lesions if they are also infected with the human herpesvirus 8, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By studying 91 HIV-positive men, including 57 with KS, the researchers found that men with KS were significantly more likely to have HHV-8 DNA in their blood than men without KS. A link also was shown to exist between high blood levels of HHV-8 and new KS lesions that had developed within the previous three weeks. 'This suggests that HHV-8 DNA testing may be useful for monitoring KS risk and that antiherpes drugs may prove useful in KS prevention or therapy,' lead researcher Michael J. Cannon says. No one is sure how HHV-8 is transmitted, but scientists believe it may be passed through certain sex acts, including oral-anal contact.

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