Paclitaxel (Taxol)

Paclitaxel (Taxol) is an intravenous anti-cancer drug that is approved for the treatment of AIDS-associated Kaposi’s sarcoma that has been unresponsive to first-line treatment. It is also used to treat breast and ovary cancer and some types of lung cancer.

Paclitaxel is manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Results in people with AIDS-associated Kaposi’s sarcoma have found that 56% of 107 patients responded after a median of nine months of treatment cycles with 100mg/m2 paclitaxel every two weeks.1 However, treatment is inconvenient, since it consists of three-hour infusions of the drug into a vein.

When used for ovarian cancer, side-effects have included sore throat and mouth, low white blood cell levels (neutropenia), hair loss and numbness of the fingers and toes. In people with Kaposi’s sarcoma, the main side-effect was neutropenia, with some cases of hair loss, joint pain and nerve damage and pain.

Paclitaxel should be used with caution in patients taking antiretroviral therapy, due to the risk of side-effects due to drug interactions.2 3


  1. Tulpule A et al. Multicenter trial of low-dose paclitaxel in patients with advanced AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma. Cancer 95: 147-154, 2002
  2. Bundow D et al. Potential drug interaction with paclitaxel and highly active antiretroviral therapy in two patients with AIDS-associated Kaposi sarcoma. Am J Clin Oncol 27: 81-84, 2004
  3. Schwartz JD et al. Potential interaction of antiretroviral therapy with paclitaxel in patients with AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma. AIDS 13: 283, 1999

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.