Based on data from the Scottish Cancer Registry, the epidemiology of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) in Scotland during the period 1976-96 is described. In males, the annual age-standardized incidence rate (World standard population) increased from less than 0.09 per 100,000 before 1986 to 0.44 in 1991 and then decreased to around 0.17. Peak incidence is now at ages 30-39 compared with ages 80+ during the period 1976-82; and by 1986-96 the standardized incidence ratio for the Health Board which includes Edinburgh had risen to almost four times the national level. These changes are largely consistent with the pattern of HIV infection in Scotland. However, in both sexes, relative to other neoplasms, and in international terms, KS remains rare in Scotland. For patients diagnosed during 1976-92, cumulative observed survival at 5 years was 8.7% at ages 0-49 compared with 49.8% at ages 50-84, reflecting the more aggressive course of AIDS-related KS, as well as the co-morbidity and competing causes of death associated with AIDS.