Penile Kaposi’s Sarcoma In HIV Patient


A 49-year-old male patient with HIV infection presented to the clinic with multiple slow-growing and ulcerated lesions on the penis. He had been sexually active with male partners and had not taken antiretroviral therapy for 2 years.

A 49-year-old man with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) presented to the HIV clinic with ulcerated, violaceous and slow-growing lesions on the gland penis and external urethral meatus. According to the patient, the lesions had appeared several weeks ago. The man had been sexually active with male partners and had not been taking any of the prescribed antiretroviral medication for 2 years.

Laboratory studies showed that the patient’s CD4 cell count of 48 per cubic millimetre (normal range, 500 to 1200) and an HIV viral load of 395,913 copies per millilitre. Further tests to confirm the diagnosis were negative for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and herpes simplex virus infection. An incisional biopsy was performed; histopathological analysis of the biopsy was consistent with the diagnosis of Kaposi’s sarcoma. Computed tomography of the pelvis, abdomen and chest did not show any extracutaneous involvement.

Kaposi’s sarcoma

Kaposi’s sarcoma is a type of cancer caused by human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) and typically affects immunocompromised patients. It was first described in 1972 by Moritz Kaposi. It is a tumour of vascular origin and initial presentation on the penis is uncommon, however, often observed in AIDS patients. Patients with AIDS usually develop an aggressive form of disease.

The patient’s penile lesion resolved completely with treatment.


Grandi, V., & De Francesco, I. (2020). Penile Kaposi’s Sarcoma. New England Journal of Medicine382(12), e20.

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Dr. Aiman Shahab is a dentist with a bachelor’s degree from Dow University of Health Sciences. She is an experienced freelance writer with a demonstrated history of working in the health industry. Skilled in general dentistry, she is currently working as an associate dentist at a private dental clinic in Karachi, freelance content writer and as a part time science instructor with Little Medical School. She has also been an ambassador for PDC in the past from the year 2016 – 2018, and her responsibilities included acting as a representative and volunteer for PDC with an intention to make the dental community of Pakistan more connected and to work for benefiting the underprivileged. When she’s not working, you’ll either find her reading or aimlessly walking around for the sake of exploring. Her future plans include getting a master’s degree in maxillofacial and oral surgery, settled in a metropolitan city of North America.


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