|What are the symptoms of HHV-8, the virus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma?
Jun 17, 2001
What are the symtoms of HHV-8, are they the same as HIV? I have already tested negative for HIV but I know that there is something wrong.
Response from Dr. Dezube
Dear PW: It's hard enough when you have to worry about HIV. Now it looks like HHV-8 is giving you something to worry about. HHV-8, also known as Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus, is the virus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). Most people, who get infected with HHV-8, don't even know they have it. Most people have no symptoms when they get infected. HHV-8 is very different than HIV in that many, if not most folks, who contract HHV-8 will NOT develop any diseases. In other words, even if you contracted HHV-8, this does not necessarily mean you will develop KS. HHV-8 is a very common virus in the Mediterranean region (Italy, Greece), yet most of the folks who live in that region do NOT develop disease even if they are infected with HHV-8. Similarly many people live with a whole variety of viruses, most of which don't cause clinical disease. If you have both an HHV-8 and an HIV infection, than you stand about a 50% chance of coming down with KS-- These data are based on an article which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine. So to answer your question, what are the symptoms?-- the answer is usually there are no symptoms. BD.
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