Characteristics of HIV-1-associated Kaposi's sarcoma among women and men in South Africa

Int J STD AIDS. 2008 Jun;19(6):400-5. doi: 10.1258/ijsa.2008.007301.


Despite the increase of HIV-1-associated Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), little is known about HIV-associated KS in the African setting, particularly among women. A descriptive study of the demographic, clinical, immunological and virological features of AIDS-associated KS from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa was undertaken. Consecutively, recruited patients were clinically staged; CD4/CD8 cell counts, HIV-1 viral loads and clinical parameters were evaluated. Of the 152 patients (77 male and 75 female) 99% were black. Females were significantly younger (P = 0.02) and had poorer disease prognosis (odds ratio [OR] = 2.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4-5.4, P = 0.003) and were more likely to have extensive cutaneous KS when compared with males (OR = 3.1, 95% CI = 1.4-6.7, P = 0.003). One-third of patients had coexisting HIV-related disease, most commonly tuberculosis, and these were more frequent in females (56.7 vs. 43.3%). In conclusion, HIV-associated KS in South Africans has an equal female-to-male ratio. Females are younger and have more severe disease than males.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / epidemiology*
  • Adult
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / virology*
  • HIV Seropositivity / complications
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / complications
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / epidemiology*
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / immunology
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / virology*
  • South Africa / epidemiology