Cancer & HIV

People infected with HIV have a substantially higher risk of some types of cancer compared with uninfected people of the same age. Three of these cancers are known as "acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-defining cancers" or "AIDS-defining malignancies": Kaposi sarcomanon-Hodgkin lymphoma, and cervical cancer. A diagnosis of any one of these cancers marks the point at which HIV infection has progressed to AIDS. A compromised immune system can increase a person’s risk for cancer. It can also allow for cancer cells to spread faster than in someone without HIV. With the use of antiretroviral therapy (ART), the rates of AIDS-related cancers have dropped significantly. At the same time, people with HIV are at higher than average risk for several other cancers, including Hodgkin lymphoma and cancers of the anus, lung, liver, and skin, The number of cases of these other cancers is increasing in people with HIV.

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