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Keywords:

  • Kaposi's sarcoma;
  • highly active antiretroviral therapy;
  • Uganda;
  • sub-Saharan Africa;
  • mortality;
  • HIV

Background

Clinical outcomes for patients with Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) using nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in resource-limited settings have not previously been described.

Methods

We evaluated HIV-infected patients aged ≥ 18 years, who initiated HAART in the Home-Based AIDS Care (HBAC) project in Tororo, Uganda, between May 2003 and February 2008 and were diagnosed with KS at baseline or during follow-up. We examined independent risk factors for having either prevalent or incident KS and risk factors for death among patients with KS.

Results

Of 1121 study subjects, 17 (1.5%) were diagnosed with prevalent KS and 18 (1.6%) with incident KS over a median of 56.1 months of follow-up. KS was associated with male sex [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 2.41; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20–4.86] and baseline CD4 cell count < 50 cells/μL (AOR 3.25; 95% CI 1.03–10.3). Eleven (65%) of 17 patients with prevalent KS and 13 (72%) of 18 patients with incident KS experienced complete regression (P = 0.137). Eighteen (64%) of 28 patients who remained on NNRTI-based HAART experienced regression of their KS and six (86%) of seven patients who were switched to protease inhibitor-containing HAART regimens had regression of their KS (P = 0.23). Mortality among those with KS was significantly associated with visceral disease (hazard ratio 19.22; 95% CI 2.42–152).

Conclusion

Prevalent or incident KS was associated with 30% mortality. The resolution of KS lesions among individuals who initiated HAART with NNRTI-based regimens was similar to that found in studies using only protease inhibitor-based HAART.