skip to content


Issue No. 16 | April 15, 2011

News and Features

Study Finds AIDS-Defining Cancers Have Decreased But Other Cancers Have Increased in HIV-Infected Population

“While cases of the types of cancer that have been associated with AIDS progression have decreased, cases of other types of cancer are on the rise. These results, reported by scientists from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (, were published online April 11, 2011, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute ( …

“The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in 1996 resulted in … AIDS-defining cancers decreas[ing] threefold, from 34,000 cases between 1991 and 1995 to about 10,000 cases between 2001 and 2005. In contrast, the total number of all other cancers tripled, from around 3,000 in the earlier period to 10,000 in the latter period. Since 2003, annual counts of these other cancers in the HIV/AIDS population have exceeded the number of AIDS-defining malignancies. …

“People with HIV infection are known to be at increased risk for certain cancers not classified as AIDS-defining malignancies. Of these, the most common are anal, lung, and liver cancers, and Hodgkin lymphoma. Higher risks for these four malignancies stems from co-infections such as human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B and C viruses, and Epstein-Barr virus, as well as higher smoking rates in the HIV/AIDS population. …

“‘These findings highlight the need for more research toward understanding how the combination of prolonged HIV infection, aging, and other factors may contribute to cancer development,’ added study author Robert Yarchoan, M.D., director of NCI's Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy.”

More information is available:

Help Update the AIDSinfo Glossary of HIV/AIDS-Related Terms

Are you familiar with the AIDSinfo Glossary of HIV/AIDS-Related Terms? Did you know the Glossary includes definitions for more than 600 terms related to HIV/AIDS plus an additional section on HIV/AIDS-related resources? We invite you to explore the current online edition of the Glossary.

AIDSinfo is planning to update the Glossary and welcomes your suggestions. Please send us your recommendations on additional terms or resources to include in the updated Glossary. Forward your suggestions to or via Twitter @AIDSinfo or