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Kaposis Sarcoma - I'm scared to death; Do I have KS or HIV?
Mar 16, 2001

Hello Dr., I apologize for the long question, but things are starting to add up and scare me a bit here. I am a 28 year old heterosexual white male. I have a growing concern that I may have K.S., and therefore HIV. About 5 weeks ago I developed a round, slightly raised, reddish-purple spot on the middle of the top of my left foot. It is about the size of a quarter, and does not itch or hurt in any way. It turns white when I press on it, though it seems to change colors by itself. The hair in the affected area has ceased growing. I treated it with Athlete's Foot medication for about 4 weeks before becoming concerned and discontinuing the treatment, and it since has flattened out and looks like it might be going away. I also have developed very small, bite-like red bumps in various areas, mostly on my legs. They come one at a time (I have 3 in different spots on my right leg now), and go away in about 2-3 weeks. They itch like crazy and are particularly sensitive to hot water. It has been exactly 1 year since I had unprotected sex with anyone that would concern me at all. My general health over the past 5 months has been great, but I am starting to freak a bit. ALSO, the next partner that I had after the one I mentioned had a genital herpes outbreak, which she claimed was her 1st. This happened immediately after we had intercourse for the 1st time. Could this have been HHV8, transmitted by me? She has not had a recurrence in 1 year, leading me to believe it may not have been a typical genital herpes transmission. I know you are going to tell me to go get tested, but I am a coward and will probably wait for further symptoms, if there are to be any, to develop. Thank you very much. TC

Response from Dr. Dezube

I appreciate your fear. Knowledge is power. As I'm sure your well aware, both HIV and KS are VERY treatable. I would urge you in the strongest of terms to get HIV-tested and probably to have one of your lesions biopsied. Then, you will start on the road to recovery. You need to take this first step. I wish you luck. yours, BD

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