Increasing incidence of Kaposi's sarcoma in black South Africans In Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa (1983 to 2006)
© Uldrick et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009
Published: 17 June 2009
AIDS-associated Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is a common malignancy in regions with high HIV and Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Virus (KSHV) co-infection. This is exacerbated by limited access to antiretroviral therapy. Despite the dramatic increase in HIV in South Africa since the mid-1990s, little is known about the rates of AIDS-associated KS. Our objective is to estimate trends in the incidence of AIDS-associated KS in black South Africans in KwaZulu-Natal.
Observational database analysis.
The incidence of KS (per 100,000) was estimated using anonymous administrative records for patients receiving care for KS through all public sector oncology clinics in KwaZulu-Natal, 1983 to 2006. Age-standardized incidence rates were calculated annually using provincial census data for the black population from 1985, 1996, 2001 and 2005. Age-specific rates were calculated for 1983–1989 (baseline) and for 2006 (generalized HIV epidemic).
Our estimates of KS incidence are based only on those who are referred to public sector oncologists, and exclude both early and late stage KS that would be treated by primary care providers or hospice, as well as those treated in the private sector. We therefore greatly underestimate the true incidence AIDS-associated KS in the province, and absolute rates cannot be compared directly to cancer-registry data from other African countries. Nonetheless, we demonstrate that the incidence of AIDS-associated KS continues to increase through 2006, and is a growing public health problem in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.