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Do I have KS? If that red/purple spot is driving your crazy, please read this.
Feb 23, 2003

I am HIV-. About 2 and a half years ago I noticed a couple marks on my wrist. They were all different in size. The one, about 2cm in size and oval shaped, has a pinkish type color. The inside is more like a white. I think they are actualy getting better. I have kind of forgotten about it the last couple of years. But recently i noticed 2 purple marks on my groin. It is very long. (4cm) The other is smaller. They dont look like the marks on my arm too much. Im really worried! Please tell me if this could possibly be KS. (Can it stay for 2 and a half years and not get worse? like on my arm) PLEASE help! Thank you.

Response from Dr. Dezube

As for your spots and the red spots of so many others who write, please permit me to re-run my response from Sept 16, 2001. It's applicable to your query--

In the past months or so, I have received about 30 queries which describe pigmented lesions,stretch marks, pimples and so on and so on. Some describe red lesions, others purple or brown lesions, and others lesions that either do or do not blanch (turn white). Some of the queries are from HIV + folks, some from HIV - folks. They all ask the same question. What do I think? Is it cancer? Is it KS?

Basically there is no way to know whether a lesion is KS or not without a biopsy. KS is a disease which is really diagnosed by a pathologist looking at a biopsy specimen under the microscope. If you go to a clinician who sees alot of KS, (s)he can certainly give you a presumptive diagnosis. There are however many, many different skin conditions which can cause lesions. KS is unlikely in HIV negative folks, though it can occur.

If you really are concerned that you have KS (and I'm referring to all thirty of you who have written to me), then first get HIV tested. You need to know. If you are HIV negative, then mostly likely you do not have KS. If you are HIV positive and have a pigmented lesion, then by all means get this checked out. Most KS lesions can be readily dealt with. There is no reason to agonize about this. The sooner you get seen, the sooner it can be taken care of.

So many of you query this site when it comes to lesions because of fear of the unknown, fear of seeking medical care, and so on. I urge all of you to get that lesion evaluated if it's driving you crazy. Don't lose any more sleep over it.

Best of Luck. BD.


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