Jah's Kaposi Sarcoma Journey
What's Kaposi sarcoma? KS, as it is commonly known, is a rare skin cancer that develops in the cells that line the lymph vessels and blood vessels. It usually causes skin lesions. In the United States today, there is 1 case of KS per 200,000 people.1
HIV-related Kaposi sarcoma
HIV-related KS, or Epidemic Kaposi sarcoma, is the most common type of KS in the United States.2 A person may be infected with HIV for many years without developing AIDS. AIDS develops when HIV has seriously damaged the immune system. A person with a very weak immune system who becomes infected with KSHV is more likely to develop KS.2,3
Risk factors for KS
In the United States, HIV infection is the main risk factor for KS.1 Racial/ethnic and gender risk factors reflect differences in HIV infection. HIV-related KS is 10-fold higher in men than women. It is higher in black and Hispanic persons than white and Asian persons.1
Jahlove Serrano is a health educator, youth advocate, HIV/AIDS activist, androgynous model, runway coach, drag queen, background dancer, and choreographer to the stars. Jah contracted HIV a couple of days shy of his 16th birthday, and decided to take a leadership role amongst his peers and community to be very public with his HIV status to combat the ignorance and stigma around HIV/AIDS. He's working in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention, outreach, and research. Jah is working hard on a global, national, city, and local level to address the needs of HIV positive and negative youth. In this video, Jahlove shares his personal experience with KS and provides insight into this rare skin cancer.
Have you or someone you know been affected by Kaposi sarcoma?
Do you check the UV index before leaving the house?