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Volume 50, Number 6, December 2017

Risk factors for Kaposi\'s sarcoma in human immunodeficiency virus patients after initiation of antiretroviral therapy: A nested case–control study in Kenya 

Rodgers Lupia, Peter B. Wabuyia, Peter Otiato, Chi-Tai Fang, Feng-Jen Tsai


Corresponding author:

Feng-Jen Tsai, Corresponding author. Master Program in Global Health and Development, College of Public Health and Nutrition, Taipei Medical University, 250 Wu-Hsing Street, Taipei City 110, Taiwan. 


Background and purpose: 

This study aimed to evaluate the association between highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) adherence and development of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS patients. 



We conducted a retrospective nested case–control study of 165 participants (33 cases and 132 controls) receiving HAART care at Maseno Hospital, Kenya, from January 2005 to October 2013. Cases were HIV-positive adults with KS, who were matched with controls in a ratio of 1:4 based on age (±5 years of each case), sex, and KS diagnosis date. Perfect adherence to HAART was assessed on every clinic visit by patients' self-reporting and pill counts. Chi-square tests were performed to compare socioeconomic and clinical statuses between cases and controls. A conditional logistic regression was used to assess the effects of perfect adherence to HAART, the latest CD4 count, education level, distance to health-care facility, initial World Health Organization stage, and number of regular sexual partners on the development of KS.



Only 63.6% participants reported perfect adherence, and the control group had a significantly higher percentage of perfect adherence (75.0%) than did cases (18.2%). After adjustment for potential imbalances in the baseline and clinical characteristics, patients with imperfect HAART adherence had 20-times greater risk of developing KS than patients with perfect HAART adherence [hazard ratios: 21.0, 95% confidence interval: 4.2–105.1]. Patients with low latest CD4 count (≤350 cells/mm3) had a seven-times greater risk of developing KS than did their counterparts (HRs: 7.1, 95% CI: 1.4–36.2). 



Imperfect HAART adherence and low latest CD4 count are significantly associated with KS development.


Key words:

antiretroviral therapy, highly active antiretroviral therapy, human immunodeficiency virus/AIDS treatment, Kaposi's sarcoma, Kenya, Maseno