Mar 2, 2001
A friend has Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS). How does this reflect upon the severity of the AID's virus? Is this eventually fatal and if so what is the average length of time remaining?
Response from Dr. Dezube
Having Kaposi's sarcoma does NOT necessarily make an HIV-infected patient any sicker or have a worse prognosis than if (s)he did not have KS. It is NOT eventually fatal. It usually responds very well to treatment! The most important thing for your friend is that (s)he should be taking anti-retroviral medications. This will help restore the immune system and thereby lessen the impact of KS. Your friend can be further treated for his KS depending on the extent of the disease.
If the KS is limited to a few areas on the skin, then local treatments consist of Panretin gel, intralesional chemotherapy, radiation therapy and cryotherapy (freezing). If the KS is more widespread, systemic treatments consist of liposomal agents (DaunXome, Doxil) and Taxol, and on occasion interferon.
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