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Differential prevalence and correlates of whole blood Epstein–Barr virus DNA between HIV-positive and HIV-negative men who have sex with men in Shanghai, China

  • R. PAN (a1) (a2), X. LIU (a1), S. ZHOU (a1), Z. NING (a3), H. ZHENG (a4), M. GAO (a1), Y. DING (a1), W. YAO (a2), X. LIAO (a2) and N. HE (a1)...

This cross-sectional study aimed to examine and compare prevalence and correlates of whole blood Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) DNA between HIV-positive and HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM). Five hundred and four HIV-positive MSM and 504 age-matched HIV-negative MSM were recruited from an HIV counseling and testing clinic in Shanghai, China from November 2014 to November 2015 and were administered with a face-to-face questionnaire interview. Whole blood EBV DNA was tested by nested polymerase chain reaction assays on EBNA-1, EBNA-2, and LMP-1 genes. The prevalence of whole blood EBV DNA was 56·0% (95% CI 51·7–60·3%) among HIV-positive MSM and 26·0% (95% CI 22·4–30·0%) among HIV-negative MSM. Whole blood EBV DNA positivity was significantly associated with HIV infection (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 3·43, 95% CI 2·58–4·57) and frequent intake of pickled, smoked, or salty food (aOR 1·71, 95% CI 1·02–2·86) in the whole sample, and with <200 cells/μl CD4 cell counts (aOR 1·79, 95% CI 1·05–3·05) and pickled, smoked, or salty food intake (aOR 3·14, 95% CI 1·39–7·08) in HIV-positive group. HIV-infected MSM are at higher risk of active EBV replication than HIV-uninfected MSM, underscoring needs of surveillance and research on EBV-related carcinogenesis in this population.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr N. He, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, and the Key Laboratory of Public Health Safety of Ministry of Education, Fudan University, P.O. Box 289, 138 Yi Xue Yuan Road, Shanghai 200032, China. (Email:
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