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At our National Cancer Information Center trained Cancer Information Specialists can answer questions 24 hours a day, every day of the year to empower you with accurate, up-to-date information to help you make educated health decisions. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with valuable services and resources.
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For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is caused by the Kaposi sarcoma--associated herpesvirus (KSHV). There are no vaccines at this time to protect people against KSHV. For now, preventing KS depends on reducing the chance of becoming infected with KSHV and reducing the chance that people who are infected with KSHV will develop KS.
Most cases of KS in the United States occur in people with HIV and AIDS. Taking measures to avoid becoming infected with HIV could prevent most cases of KS in this country.
For people who are infected with HIV and KSHV, taking the right medicines can reduce the chance of developing KS.
For people who are at risk of developing KS after an organ transplant (iatrogenic KS), using certain types of immune suppressive drugs, such as sirolimus or everolimus (mTOR inhibitors), may reduce the chances of KS while still helping prevent rejection of the new organ.
The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). 10/12/2017. Accessed at https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/prep.html on 03/02/2018.
Curtiss P, Strazzulla LC, Friedman-Kien AE. An Update on Kaposi’s Sarcoma: Epidemiology, Pathogenesis and Treatment. Dermatology and Therapy. 2016;6(4):465-470.
Tian R, Liao Q, and Chen X. Prevention and Treatment of KSHV-associated Diseases with Antiviral Drugs. Virologica Sinica. 2008; 23 (6):486-495.
Last Revised: April 19, 2018
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