Virology, Nebraska Center for


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AIDS RESEARCH AND HUMAN RETROVIRUSES Volume 37, Number 5, 2021 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. DOI: 10.1089/aid.2020.0099




Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) is an AIDS-defining malignancy that can improve or worsen with antiretroviral therapy (ART). We aimed at identifying clinical, HIV-related, and sociodemographic factors associated with either progression or nonprogression (regression or stable disease) of ART-treated HIV-associated KS in patients with limited cutaneous disease. We conducted a prospective cohort study of ART-treated HIV-associated KS cases. Clinical, HIV-related, and sociodemographic variables were collected at baseline, and patients were followed up to determine treatment outcomes. Cox regression, linear mixed effects model, and Spearman’s rank correlation were used for analysis. Half (50%) of the study participants had KS regression or stable disease, whereas the other half (50%) had disease progression during the treatment and follow-up period. Among the data analyzed, presence of KS nodules at baseline (hazard ratio = 5.47; 95% confidence interval = 1.32–22.65; p = .02) was an independent predictor of poor treatment outcome. Progressors and nonprogressors were in distinguishable in the changes they experienced in the HIV plasma viral load and CD4 counts as a result of ART. Even when cutaneous presentation is limited, the presence of nodular morphotype KS lesions should be considered an indicator for combined ART plus chemotherapy. Temporal trends in CD4 counts and HIV viral loads did not correlate with treatment outcome in ART-treated HIV-associated KS.