This is a type of cancer. It starts
in the cells that line the lymph or blood vessels. Kaposi sarcoma causes dark lesions on
the skin. These may appear as brown, purple, or red patches or nodules. Kaposi sarcoma
may also cause the skin to swell. The lesions can affect organs, too, such as the lungs,
liver, and parts of the digestive tract. They can cause potentially life-threatening
symptoms and breathing problems.
This skin condition often only
happens when your T cell count is very low. This means that your immune system is
severely weakened. This condition is characteristic of AIDS. When someone with HIV gets
Kaposi sarcoma or any other opportunistic infection, he or she is diagnosed with AIDS.
Highly active antiretroviral medicines have greatly reduced the incidence of Kaposi
sarcoma. They can help treat it if it develops. This cancer also often responds to
radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy.