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How can I have KS? I'm a straight man!
May 28, 2001

I am only 23 years old and have had 2 sexual partners. I am a heterosexual male with no homosexual experiences. I have just been diagnosed with Kaposi's Sarcoma on my penis and my left foot. How could this be? I have tested negative on 1 DNA PCR and 3 ElISA's. Do I have a rare strain or is this normal.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Kaposi's sarcoma is caused by a herpesvirus called human herpesvirus-8 (also know as HHV8, or KS-associated virus). It is indeed possible to get KS withOUT getting HIV. This sounds like what happened in your case. KS is quite a frequent cancer in the Mediterranean region (Italy, Greece, Mid-East). In most of the cases of KS in that region, the KS patients do NOT have HIV. What I can tell you is that KS in the absence of HIV tends to be less aggressive than it is in the presence of HIV. If you indeed stay HIV negative, then I predict that your KS case may be mild. On the one hand, what you have is NOT rare, but on the other hand, it is not that common either. Hope this answers your question.

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