Background: We compared Kaposi sarcoma (KS) risk in adults who started antiretroviral therapy (ART) across the Asia-Pacific, South Africa, Europe, Latin, and North America.
Methods: We included cohort data of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive adults who started ART after 1995 within the framework of 2 large collaborations of observational HIV cohorts. We present incidence rates and adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs).
Results: We included 208140 patients from 57 countries. Over a period of 1066572 person-years, 2046 KS cases were diagnosed. KS incidence rates per 100000 person-years were 52 in the Asia-Pacific and ranged between 180 and 280 in the other regions. KS risk was 5 times higher in South African women (aHR, 4.56; 95% confidence intervals [CI], 2.73-7.62) than in their European counterparts, and 2 times higher in South African men (2.21; 1.34-3.63). In Europe, Latin, and North America KS risk was 6 times higher in men who have sex with men (aHR, 5.95; 95% CI, 5.09-6.96) than in women. Comparing patients with current CD4 cell counts ≥700 cells/µL with those whose counts were <50 cells/µL, the KS risk was halved in South Africa (aHR, 0.53; 95% CI, .17-1.63) but reduced by ≥95% in other regions.
Conclusions: Despite important ART-related declines in KS incidence, men and women in South Africa and men who have sex with men remain at increased KS risk, likely due to high human herpesvirus 8 coinfection rates. Early ART initiation and maintenance of high CD4 cell counts are essential to further reducing KS incidence worldwide, but additional measures might be needed, especially in Southern Africa.
Keywords: HIV; Kaposi sarcoma; antiretroviral therapy; cohort study.
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