| HHV-8 without HIV virus
Apr 11, 2001
I have KS which seems to be spreading on my feet rather quickly, but I am HIV negative. Should I be treated differently than if I had AIDS? Should I be any less concerned about the seriousness of having KS and being HIV negative? And finally, my partner and I have been monogamous for 10 years, and my recent HIV test came back negative (non-reactive?) Is it possible this is a falsely negative test result? How accurrate are the HIV tests in this regard? Thank you- I am very worried.
Response from Dr. Dezube
It is indeed possible to have KS WITHOUT having HIV. Basically KS and AIDS are each caused by a virus; KS by the HHV-8 virus and AIDS by the HIV virus. Although the majority of gay men with KS carry both viruses and therefore have both KS and AIDS, some gay men get infected by the HHV-8 virus, but not by the HIV virus. These men have KS without having AIDS. Typically these gay men (i.e. KS without AIDS) have a much slower growing variety of KS than do those men who have AIDS-related KS. I have several such patients in my practice. The only difference in terms of treatment is that I recommend that all patients with AIDS-related KS should receive treatment for their HIV disease. Obviously this does not apply to patient with KS WITHOUT HIV, such as in your case. Hope this helps. BD.
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