Kaposi Sarcoma Subgroup of WHO Guidelines Development Group for HIV-Associated Skin and Oral Conditions

Investigator: Anu Agrawal, MD

Location(s): United States


Skin and mucosal conditions are extremely common in all children and adults in particular in HIV-infected adults and children and are one of the commonest daily management problems faced by health care workers caring for patients with HIV infection. As the CD4 count declines below 200 cells/mm3, the prevalence, spectrum and severity of skin and oral conditions increases. Although not a major cause of mortality, skin and mucosal conditions can be a source of severe morbidity through intractable pruritus that provokes scratching, disfigurement, sleep disturbance, pain on swallowing, and psychological stress.

Several infectious, inflammatory, and neoplastic skin and mucosal conditions are pathognomonic of HIV/AIDS, e.g. Kaposi sarcoma, herpes zoster, papular pruritic eruption and extensive candidiasis. The World Health Organization’s department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health in collaboration with HIV/AIDS has selected ten skin and mucosal conditions based on burden of disease and has developed the guidelines on treatment. There is also an accompanying tool on the clinical algorithms for the recognition of these conditions.