Low CD4 Count, Suboptimal HIV Treatment Linked to Higher Anal Cancer Risk

HIV and Hepatitis
Liz Highleyman
Original Article:  bit.ly/1CLwcZn

People with HIV who experienced extensive immune deficiency or who used early antiretroviral drugs before the advent of combination highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in the mid-90s may be at greater risk for developing anal cancer, according to a retrospective analysis published in the January 28 edition of AIDS.

People living with HIV have a high prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which can cause abnormal cell changes (dysplasia or neoplasia) that can progress to anal, cervical, and other genital cancers.

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) does not prevent anal intraepithelial neoplasia. In fact, several observational studies have seen rising rates of anal neoplasia and cancer among men who have sex with men (MSM) since the arrival of effective combination ART, as HIV positive people live longer. It remains unclear whether extent of immune deficiency predicts anal neoplasia or cancer, as study findings are inconsistent.

Full text of article available at link below:  bit.ly/1CLwcZn