KS Preceding Immune Suppression

Dr. James Mon é jmone at marauder.millersv.edu
Wed Jul 12 08:13:54 EST 2000


Tom writes:

Why would a new herpesvirus have appeared at the same time 
as HIV, nearly simultaneously? The answer given by some 
researchers was the the KS virus was *not* new. It is 
postulated to have been already widely spread, but simply 
manifested itself more often as KS in immune-suppressed 
patients. 

That is the type of "brush-off" explanation that the gay 
community has accepted too uncritically and too complacently. 
There are reasons to doubt that story. 

Why is this a brush off?  It's very likely that this KS-associated HHV has
been around for years.  All heprpes viruses share the propensity to cause
life-long, often asymptomatic infections (Examples include CMV and EBV). 
Often these  viruses cause disease when changes in immune function occur. 
These changes may be undetectable, or detectable only if specifically looked
for.

A second consideration is that unrelated viruses can aid in each others
replication and spread.  Consider, for example, CMV.  CMV encodes a protein
called US 28 which is expressed at the cell surface and acts as a receptor
for HIV-1 entry.  I'm not familiar with the most recent literature on HHV-6
and KS, but these and other findings are suggestive of what might be
occurring with KS and HHV.

Tom writes:
Of course, there are other problems with the herpesvirus 
theory. There is also the problem of KS appearing in 
HIV negative men

Six out of 349?  Less than 2%?  Must we have absolute 0% in order to
establish associations (or not)?

But what exactly are you suggesting by questioning this relationship?  Was
HHV-8 planted in the gay community?  That HHV-8 is not in any way associated
with KS?  That immune disfunction is not a risk factor for KS in HHV-8
infected individuals?  What exactly is you point Tom?

Jay M
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