INTRODUCTIONSexual transmission of human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8) has been implicated among homosexual men, but the evidence for sexual transmission among heterosexual individuals is controversial. We investigated the role of sexual transmission of HHV8 in a nationally representative sample in Uganda, where HHV8 infection is endemic and transmitted mostly during childhood.MATERIALS AND METHODSThe study population was a subset of participants (n = 2681) from a population-based HIV/AIDS serobehavioral survey of adults aged 15-59 years conducted in 2004/2005. High risk for sexual transmission was assessed by questionnaire and serological testing for HIV and herpes simplex virus 2. Anti-HHV8 antibodies were measured using two enzyme immunoassays targeting synthetic peptides from the K8.1 and orf65 viral genes. The current study was restricted to 2288 sexually active adults. ORs and 95% CIs for HHV8 seropositivity were estimated by fitting logistic regression models with a random intercept using MPLUS and SAS software.RESULTSThe weighted prevalence of HHV8 seropositivity was 56.2%, based on 1302 seropositive individuals, and it increased significantly with age (P(trend)<0.0001). In analyses adjusting for age, sex, geography, education, and HIV status, HHV8 seropositivity was positively associated with reporting two versus one marital union (OR:1.52, 95% CI: 1.17-1.97) and each unit increase in the number of children born (OR: 1.04, 95% CI: 1.00-1.08), and was inversely associated with ever having used a condom (OR: 0.64, 95% CI: 0.45-0.89). HHV8 seropositivity was not associated with HIV (P = 0.660) or with herpes simplex virus 2 (P = 0.732) seropositivity. Other sexual variables, including lifetime number of sexual partners or having had at least one sexually transmitted disease, and socioeconomic variables were unrelated to HHV8 seropositivity.CONCLUSIONOur findings are compatible with the conclusion that sexual transmission of HHV8 in Uganda, if it occurs, is weak.