Kaposi’s Sarcoma Trends in the Era of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy in Zambia.

  • Lubinda Mukololo
  • Lorenda Temwani Phiri
  • Memory Chisha
  • Florence Mwaba
  • Rabecca Tembo University of Zambia
  • Mildred Zulu
Keywords: AIDS, Highly active antiretroviral therapy, Antiretroviral therapy, Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, Human Herpes virus 8, Zambia national cancer registry.


Background: AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) is a multi-centric angiogenic neoplastic proliferation which is predominantly seen in individuals with HIV-1 infection and men who have sex with men. Although the incidences of aggressive KS have reduced following the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in the treatment of HIV-infection, the effect of HAART rollout in relation to population KS incidence in Zambia still remains unclear as cases of the malignancy have continued to be reported. Objectives: In this study, we set out to investigate the trends of KS in the era of HAART in Zambia. Study Design: We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study. Methodology: 320 cases of HIV-infected individuals on HAART that developed KS between 2008 and 2017 were reviewed. Data was retrieved from the Zambia National Cancer Registry (ZNCR). Results: Of the records reviewed, we observed a sharp increase in KS cases from 5.6% in 2008 to 21.2% in 2014; from 2015 to 2017, there was a general decline in KS cases countrywide in both sexes from 13.1% to 9.4%. KS was more prevalent in Lusaka Province while Western Province had the least number of cases. For each province, there were more males affected by KS than females. We further observed that 19.1% of the cases reviewed developed KS while on HAART while 80.9% developed KS before commencement of HAART. The age group with the highest number of KS cases was 21-40 years while the age group ≥ 80 had the least number of cases. Conclusion: Our data has shown that although there is a general decline in KS cases across the 10 provinces of Zambia in recent years, more efforts are still required to mitigate the AIDS-related KS incidence and improve KS prognosis. There is need to encourage efforts aimed at HIV-infection prevention, wide coverage of HAART across the country, and KS awareness and screening.


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How to Cite
Mukololo L, Phiri L, Chisha M, Mwaba F, Tembo R, Zulu M. Kaposi’s Sarcoma Trends in the Era of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy in Zambia. University of Zambia Journal of Agricultural and Biomedical Sciences [Internet]. 1Jun.2023 [cited 27Sep.2023];6(3). Available from: https://journals.unza.zm/index.php/JABS/article/view/978
Biomedical Sciences