Viruses – Human Herpes Virus 8

November 10th, 2010

Human Herpes Virus 8 (HHV 8) is a human gamma herpes virus with cutaneous manifestations that I occasionally encounter in my The Woodlands dermatology and Conroe dermatology clinics.  HHV-8 is most commonly found in homosexual men as 20-30% are seropositive for this virus, whereas only 1% of the general population is infected with this virus.  HHV-8 can be transmitted through sexual contact and is a blood borne pathogen.  As HHV 8 can cause spindle cell proliferation and angiogenesis, it is responsible for the development of tumors.  It has been linked to all forms of Kaposi’s Sarcoma, a vascular tumor that can occur in the skin or internal organs.  Multicentric Castleman’s Disease can also be caused by HHV 8, which is a lymphoproliferative disease seen in HIV positive patients.  Additionally, Primary Effusion Lymphoma has been attributed to HHV 8, which is a Non-Hodgkins Disease Lymphoma that causes fluid build up in the body cavities.

HHV 8- Kaposi's Sarcoma