I am worried about acquiring HHV 8 and HTLV after unprotected sex and spreading it to my asthmatic son. Please help.

Q. Can HHV-8 spread through saliva?

Answered by
Dr. Utkarsh Sharma
and medically reviewed by Dr. K Shobana
This is a premium question & answer published on May 11, 2023 and last reviewed on: Aug 09, 2023

Hello doctor,

I had unprotected vaginal and oral sex a year ago. I got tested for STD panels after 3 and 6 months, and all came negative. Now my concerns are about HHV 8 and HTLV. I read somewhere HHV 8 spread from saliva, so if I am already affected, can it spread to my family? HHV 8 affects mainly immunocompromised people, so I am worried after reading this because my son is asthmatic. So my thought is, what would happen if he might get HHV 8 from me? Is HTLV test necessary for me? Please help.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I read your query and can understand your concern. It is good that you tested negative for the STD (sexually transmitted disease) panel. I advise you to take proper precautions in the future. Regarding HHV 8 (human herpes virus-8), if you have symptoms of rashes or enlarged lymph nodes, you can go for a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test for HHV 8. HTLV (human T-lymphotropic virus type 1) infection is much less common but if you feel weakness or muscle pain then you must get tested for HTLV antibodies in your blood. Asthma does not cause a weakened immune system, so your son is safe do not worry. To conclude, if you currently have any symptoms, then go for testing otherwise be cautious in the future. Take care.

Hello doctor,

Thank you for your reply. I have a few more questions. Where can I get the HHV-8 PCR test? According to CDC, Prednisone and Budesonide lead to low immunity, is this true? Because my son needs Prednisone 20 mg every six to seven months for a week and a nebulizer also. I am worried about this, please help me. What is the window period for the HTLV test?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I read your query and can understand your concern. The answers to your questions are as follows. You can contact a hospital near you to know about the test. Steroids definitely reduce immunity but in asthma and other allergic diseases, the role of steroids is to suppress exaggerated immunity which is the cause of the disease. The window period of HTLV (human T-lymphotropic virus type 1) is highly variable ranging from two to three months to many years in certain subjects. Most people infected with HTLV-1 never have any symptoms, but about 3 to 5 % develop adult T-cell leukemia. I hope this helped. Take care.

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