Does sunlight raise the risk for Kaposi's sarcoma in HIV-infected men?

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  • This study found that risk for Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) was increased among HIV-infected men with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) and those living in locations with high ambient exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) at time of HIV diagnosis.

Why this matters

  • The relationship between UVR and risk for KS in HIV-infected patients is unknown.

 Key results

  • Among 17,597 HIV-infected veterans, there were 422 newly diagnosed KS cases.
  • Among individuals with prior NMSC, there was a statistically significant increased risk for KS (HR=8.64).
  • In the total cohort, KS risk was higher for quartile 4 vs 1 (HR=1.49; Ptrend=.02) and among Caucasians (HR=1.75; Ptrend=.009), but not among African Americans (HR=1.23; Ptrend=.23).

Study design

  • Retrospective study evaluated association between ambient UVR, history of NMSC, and incidence of KS in a nationwide US cohort of Caucasian and African-American male veterans infected with HIV from 1986 to 1996.
  • Funding: National Cancer Institute.
  • Lack of information on personal sun exposure; measurement of UVR may be confounded by other factors such as human herpes virus 8.