Virology, Nebraska Center for


Document Type


Date of this Version



Am J Epidemiol. 173(9): 1085-1092


American Journal of Epidemiology © The Author 2011


The epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus in Zambia has led to a dramatic rise in the incidence of human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8)–associated Kaposi's sarcoma in both adults and children. However, there is a paucity of knowledge about the routes of HHV-8 transmission to young children. The Zambia Children's KS-HHV8 Study, a large, prospective cohort study in Lusaka, Zambia, was launched in 2004 to investigate the role of household members as a source of HHV-8 infection in young children and social behaviors that may modify the risk of HHV-8 acquisition. This cohort is distinct from other epidemiologic studies designed to investigate HHV-8 incidence and transmission because it recruited and followed complete households in the urban central African context. Between July 2004 and March 2007, 1,600 households were screened; 368 households comprising 464 children and 1,335 caregivers and household members were enrolled. Follow-up of this population continued for 48 months postrecruitment, affording a unique opportunity to study horizontal transmission of HHV-8 and understand the routes and sources of transmission to young children in Zambia. The authors describe the study rationale, design, execution, and characteristics of this cohort, which provides critical data on the epidemiology and transmission of HHV-8 to young children in Zambia.