Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

HIV & AIDS Health Center

Select An Article

HIV, AIDS, and Kaposi’s Sarcoma

Font Size

Diagnosing Kaposi's Sarcoma

All it may take to diagnose Kaposi's sarcoma is looking at the skin. Your doctor may remove a sample of tissue from a spot and examine it under a microscope. Called a biopsy, this can confirm the diagnosis. If you have respiratory symptoms, your doctor may use bronchoscopy to view your breathing passages through a lighted tube. Or, if you have gastrointestinal symptoms, your doctor may use endoscopy to view your gastrointestinal system through a lighted tube.

Treatment for Kaposi's Sarcoma

In many cases, HAART is the best way to treat active Kaposi's sarcoma. It may even clear up the skin lesions. These are other types of treatment you may need.

Local treatment. If you have just a few skin lesions, you may decide to have them removed. This does not cure Kaposi's sarcoma, but can greatly improve your appearance. This can be done in one of these ways:

Systemic chemotherapy. To treat Kaposi's sarcoma that has spread to internal organs, you need drugs that treat your whole body. This is called systemic treatment. If HAART is not effective, your doctor may prescribe anti-cancermedications. Called chemotherapy, these are sometimes given in combination. These are common types of chemotherapy for Kaposi's sarcoma:

Doxil and DaunoXome are now available in liposomal form. This means they come in tiny fat bubbles, which last longer, can move to needed areas, and may reduce side effects.

These are some of the more common side effects of Kaposi's sarcoma chemotherapy:

Biological therapy. Produced by the body's own immune system, alpha interferon is one type of biological therapy. Your doctor may prescribe it if your CD4 cell count is over 200 and you have a fairly healthy immune system. It works by activating your immune system to attack viruses and by preventing viruses from reproducing. It has gone out of favor for lack of evidence that it causes sustainable boosts in the immune system.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on August 17, 2014
1 | 2
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

How much do you know?
contemplative man
What to do now.
Should you be tested?
HIV under microscope
What does it mean?
HIV AIDS Screening
man opening condom wrapper
HIV AIDS Treatment
Discrimination Stigma
Treatment Side Effects
grilled chicken and vegetables
obese man standing on scale
cold sore