Kaposi's sarcoma in women with AIDS

AIDS. 1996 Sep;10(11):1221-5. doi: 10.1097/00002030-199609000-00007.


Objective: To describe the presentation and incidence of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) in a cohort of women infected with HIV and to compare their clinical characteristics with men at the same institution.

Design: Retrospective chart and database review.

Setting: Adult clinical AIDS program outpatient clinics at a municipal teaching hospital.

Results: One hundred and seven people with KS were found of whom twelve (11.2%) were women. The prevalence of KS in women was 3.6% compared with 9.9% among men (P < 0.001). Women born outside the United States were at increased risk of developing KS (P < 0.05). At initial KS presentation, no difference in HIV stage or CD4 count was found between men and women. Women presented with more advanced KS than men, with increased incidence of non-cutaneous disease (P < 0.001), lymphedema (P < 0.0001), lymph-node disease (P < 0.0001) and visceral disease (P = 0.03). Women had decreased survival after KS diagnosis compared to men, although the difference was not significant (P = 0.41).

Conclusions: KS is not a rare diagnosis in HIV-infected women followed at our institution. Although the increased risk of KS in men is most likely to be related to differences in exposure, the sex-related differences in presentation and course may be due in part to delay in diagnosis. KS should be considered in the spectrum of HIV-related complications in women as well as in men.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / complications*
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / drug therapy
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / epidemiology
  • Sarcoma, Kaposi / physiopathology
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior