Human herpesvirus 8 seroprevalence among Tobago women and the role of sexual lifestyle behavior

Alicia C. McDonald, Camille C. Ragin, Frank J. Jenkins, Joel Weissfeld, John Wilson, Victor W. Wheeler, Jaquie B. Wilson, Clareann H. Bunker, Emanuela Taioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) infection is present in 22.9% of Tobago men. However, seroprevalence and modes of transmission of HHV-8 among Tobago women are not known. HHV-8 seropositivity rates in Tobago women were examined and compared rates to Tobago men of similar ages. To assess possible modes of transmission, sexual behavior among Tobago women was examined to determine its association with HHV-8 seropositivity. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 213 Tobago women, ages 18-65 years, who participated in the Tobago Cervical and Oral Cancer Screening Study. HHV-8 seropositivity was determined by a monoclonal immunofluorescence assay. Age-specific rates were compared to those previously observed in men. Logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the association between HHV-8 seropositivity and sexual behavior among the women. HHV-8 seroprevalence among Tobago women was 14.1% (95% CI, 10-19%), with no significant difference with men of similar age (P-value = 0.741). Age ≤17 years at first sexual intercourse was found to have a minimal significant association with HHV-8 seropositivity (OR = 2.51, 95% CI = 1.09-5.78) in women. HHV-8 age-specific rates were similar between genders. Sexual activity may not be a major contributor to HHV-8 infection among Tobago women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-270
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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