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AIDS-associated Kaposi sarcoma: A case series in the Philippine setting

Ricky H Hipolito, MD, FPDS, Ma Teresita G Gabriel, MD, FPDS, Johannes F Dayrit, MD, FPDS, FDSP, Ma Carmela P Bucoy, MD



Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-Kaposi sarcoma (AIDS-KS) has unique clinical characteristics, often disseminated on presentation, a rapidly progressive course, and often fatal outcome. Describing the epidemiology and clinical characteristics of AIDS-KS in the Philippines may lead to early recognition, diagnosis, and management of this condition, which are the keys to preventing significant complications.


Case Series

AIDS-KS in 11 Filipino MSM patients with a mean age of 36.55 years (SD 11.54) was described. Violaceous plaques and nodules were present for an average of 5.1 months prior to diagnosis confirmed by biopsy. Histopathologic findings from all patients were consistent with KS.

The median CD4+ count of patients was 44 cells/microliter (range, 4 to 181). Six patients presented with opportunistic infections (OI)/AIDS-related conditions (ARC). The most common OIs observed were pulmonary tuberculosis, oropharyngeal candidiasis, and Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia. Nine patients improved with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). One patient required modification on his HAART regimen, which was shifted to 2 NRTI and ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor, and one patient died due to AIDS-related complications.


This series of 11 cases of AIDS-KS showed similar demographic, clinical and histopathologic characteristics to previously published studies. Findings suggest the need for earlier recognition and diagnosis. While HAART afforded clinical improvement in a majority of patients, other treatment options such as chemotherapy should be considered for appropriate patients.


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AIDS-associated Kaposi sarcoma: A case series in the Philippine setting