Kaposi’s lesion on the arm
Dark colour on gingiva
Purple patches on hard palate
Kaposi’s sarcoma is a malignant tumour of the connective tissue (caused by the human herpes virus 8) Orally, it occurs as red or purple patches in the mouth and commonly affects the hard palate, gingiva and tongue though it can occur elsewhere on the body.
What to look for
Painless red, brown, purple coloured patches that look like swollen bruises, appearing anywhere in the mouth. The patches rarely become infected unless they burst.
Refer the patient to a health worker or doctor experienced with the problems of HIV/AIDS.
HIV – this condition is most often seen in patients with HIV/AIDS
Ethnicity and gender – people of Jewish or Mediterranean descent, as well as equatorial Africans, have a higher risk of developing Kaposi sarcoma and is seen more in men
Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) – Infection with this virus, may cause Kaposi sarcoma. The cancer appears most often when a person with HHV-8 also has immune function difficulties such as HIV/AIDS
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