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Human herpesvirus (HHV) type 8 bas been detected in both classical and AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma, body-cavity lymphomas, and other types of tumors. HHV-8 has also been detected in DNA from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of some Kaposi's sarcoma patients and more readily in B cell fractions derived from panned cell subpopulations. Two patients were followed using several methods: in situ hybridization, solution-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and in situ PCR. HHV-8 was intermittently detected in plasma and detection correlated with detection in PBMC. In situ PCR demonstrated HHV-8 sequences in both peripheral blood B lymphocytes and, to a lesser extent, T lymphocytes. HHV-8 may undergo periods of viremia while at other times it is undetectable and infects circulating B cells and some T cells.