DESCRIPTION (adapted from the Abstract): A multidisciplinary, four-year
prospective study of the transmission and natural history of human herpes
virus is proposed to (1) identify biologic and behavioral risk factors for
acquisition of HHV-8/KSHV infection and (2) describe patterns for HHV-
8/KSHV virologic activity, types of host immunologic response, and the
relationship of virologic activity and host response to the development of
Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). The natural history of HHV-8/KSHV infection will be
characterized in patients with and without HIV infection by (a)
qualitative and quantitative longitudinal polymerase chain reaction
measurement of HHV-8/KSHV in plasma, peripheral blood mononuclear cells,
semen and saliva, (b) description of the evolution of anti-latency and
anti-lytic phase associated antibodies to HHV-8/KSHV, (c) examination of
host cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses to HHV-8/KSHV at varying stages of
infection, and (d) ascertainment of the temporal relationships between
virologic activity, host responses, HIV infection, and the development of
Two existing cohorts of homosexual men, the San Francisco Men's Health
Study and the San Francisco Young Men's Health Study, will be used to
identify new seroconversions for antibodies to HHV-8/KSHV latency-
associated nuclear antigens (LANA) and to obtain prospective samples of
blood, semen, and saliva from men with pre-existing HHV-8/KSHV infection
for varying duration, including men who have been seropositive since, at
least, 1984. The researchers will follow 300 young men without prior
evidence of HHV-8/KSHV infection, or whom 40 are HIV-infected, for the
development of anti-LANA seroconversion. Between 35 and 40 incident
infections are expected over the four years of follow-up. The natural
history of infection will be observed in 200 men with pre-existing HHV-
8/KSHV infection; 100 of these are HIV co-infected.
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