The authors report a case of Kaposi's sarcoma in a 38-year-old Malian. Onset occurred one year after an episode of febrile polyadenopathy with histologic features suggestive of immune dysfunction lymphadenitis. Diagnosis of Kaposi's sarcoma was firmly established only following occurrence of secondary skin lesions. This case exemplifies the diagnostic problems raised by those forms of Kaposi's sarcoma which present as lymph node involvement. In the index case, the authors discuss the significance of the initial polyadenopathy, and speculate whether it was an initial stage of Kaposi's sarcoma or an immune dysfunction lymphadenitis preceding onset of the sarcoma. If the second hypothesis is correct, this case would be comparable to reports of Kaposi's sarcoma arising in hosts with immune dysfunction.