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Aug 31, 2001

Can both men and women be infected with htlv and can transmission occur from a woman to a man? Or is the usual route frm male to male? Thanks.

Response from Mr. Kull

Men and women can both be infected with HTLV (human T-cell lymphotropic virus), a retrovirus that, in rare cases, can lead to adult T-cell leukemia. HTLV is a rare virus and most people infected with HTLV remain healthy carriers. HTLV is transmitted in the same ways as HIV: through unprotected sex or direct blood contact. So, it can be transmitted in to any sexual or needle-sharing partners regardless of gender.

For more information, please see the NIAID fact sheet on HTLV (


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