Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers


Prevalence and correlates of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus infection in a sample of men who have sex with men in eastern China

T. ZHANGa1a2 , H. LINa1a3 , V. MINHASa2, W. ZHUa1, C. WOODa2 and N. HEa1 c1

a1 Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai, China and Key Laboratory of Public Health Safety (Fudan University), Ministry of Education, China

a2 Nebraska Centre of Virology and the School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, USA

a3 Taizhou City Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Zhejiang Province, China


This study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and related factors in men who have sex with men (MSM) in China. A total of 208 subjects were recruited from eastern China from 2008 to 2009. Plasma samples were collected and screened for KSHV, HIV and syphilis. Overall, KSHV seroprevalence was 32·7% in the subjects. About 92·7% of subjects reported having ever had anal sex with a man, of whom 67·8% had receptive anal sex and 77·9% had insertive anal sex. About 93·1% of the study participants reported having had oral sex with a man, of whom 76·0% had receptive oral sex and 56·7% had insertive oral sex. KSHV seropositivity was independently associated with receptive anal sex [odds ratio (OR) 2·68, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·15–6·23], syphilis (OR 3·25, 95% CI 1·56–6·76) and HSV-2 infection (OR 2·40, 95% CI 1·09–5·26). KSHV infection is highly prevalent and is probably sexually transmitted among MSM in eastern China.

(Received July 11 2012)

(Revised August 25 2012)

(Accepted September 25 2012)

(Online publication October 31 2012)

Key words

  • China;
  • men who have sex with men;
  • Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus;
  • prevalence


c1 Author for correspondence: Professor N. He, M. D., Ph.D., Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, PR China. (Email: nhe@shmu.edu.cn)


  These authors contributed equally to this work.