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October 11, 2010

High risk of virus-associated cancer death for those with AIDS

aidsmap: "Death was caused by a non-AIDS-defining cancer in 7% of patients. The most common cancers were those of the lung (58 cases), liver (28), Hodgkin lymphoma (28), and head and neck (18).

Overall, patients with HIV were seven times more likely to die of a non-AIDS-defining cancer than age and sex matched individuals in the general Italian population.

Moreover, the investigators noted that mortality rates due to cancers caused by viral infections were especially high in those with AIDS.

For example, the mortality rate for anal cancer, caused by certain strains of the genital wart virus HPV, was 240 times higher in those with AIDS. Hodgkin lymphoma is caused by Epstein-Barr virus, and the mortality rate attributable to this cancer was 174 times higher for patients with AIDS than individuals in the general population. Infection with hepatitis C virus can lead to liver cancer, and patients with AIDS were eleven times more likely to die of this malignancy than those in the wider population."