Abstract

Herpesvirus-like DNA sequences (KSHV/HHV-8) have recently been described in AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) lesions. Many questions remain regarding the role of this virus in KS and the therapeutic implications of this finding. In the current study, KSHV/HHV-8 DNA was detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with KS (34/98) more often than in HIV-infected individuals without KS (12/64, P = .03). The detection of KSHV/HHV-8 DNA did not correlate with the CD4 lymphocyte count. Five patients demonstrated KSHV/HHV-8 DNA in their PBMCs during administration of intravenous foscarnet and/or ganciclovir. The continued detection of KSHV/HHV-8 DNA in the PBMCs of patients receiving these anti-herpesvirus drugs has potential implications regarding the virus-cell relationship of KSHV/HHV-8, as well as for the value of these drugs in treating or preventing KS, but additional studies are needed.

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