Kaposi’s Sarcoma (KS)

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Is a cancer tumour caused by human herpes virus 8 (HHV8), also known as Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV). It became widely known in the 1980’s as an AIDS defining illness. The cause for this cancer –HHV8 – was discovered in 1994. KS appears as lesions on the skin and internal organs. Lesions may be red, purple or black and are initially flat and usually painless. KS is more likely to develop if the CD4 cell count is below 250 and the lesions may become more destructive as HIV infection progresses. HIV ARV treatment usually resolves KS, however lesions can persist and treatment may include surgical removal, cryotherapy, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.