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Kaposi's Sarcoma and acute HIV infection. Is it possible?
Mar 17, 2002

Dear Dr Dezube. I am confused on whether or not Kaposi's Sarcoma can present itself during acute infection with HIV. From everything I've read from literature and other doctors on thebody.com, KS does NOT appear during acute infection and only appears during late stages of the disease. Yet I've read some posts where you say its possible to get KS during acute HIV infection. Are there any documented cases of anyone getting Kaposi's Sarcoma during acute infection? I'm just confused, do people recently infected with HIV get KS or not??

Response from Dr. Dezube

It would be most unusual, though not impossible, for KS to appear during an acute HIV infection (i.e. when a person becomes infected by HIV). Typically KS does not appear until the immune system is somewhat compromised. On rare occasions, gay men could be harboring human herpes virus-8 (HHV8), the virus which causes KS. These men can harbor the HHV8 virus even if they are HIV negative. Then, if these men all of sudden become HIV infection, the HHV8 virus can grow and cause KS to appear in the setting of an acute HIV infection. So to answer your question, people recently infected with HIV can get KS, though much more typically, KS appears later on in the course of HIV. Hope this clarifies your confusion. BD.


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