Women living with HIV face higher rates of cancer diagnosis: Study

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 57, No. 9, November 2015, Page 399 News

Due to the introduction of modern highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) people living with HIV are now less likely to develop AIDS-related cancers. However, a recent study published in HIV Medicine shows women living with HIV still have a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with certain cancers when compared with the general population. This trend primarily involves cancers with underlying infectious causes such as human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis.

The study shows a need for improved women-centred access and support:
•    Women living with HIV with a cancer diagnosis were more likely than those without cancer to have an AIDS-defining illness at the time of diagnosis, a higher viral load, and a lower CD4 count.
•    A significant portion of women were less than 95% adherent to combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in the year prior to cancer diagnosis.
•    Nearly 69% of the women did not achieve virological suppression in the year prior to cancer diagnosis.

HIV-positive women with cancer had a significantly higher likelihood of mortality compared with HIV-positive women without cancer (46.2% compared to 17.5%).

The study was conducted as a collaboration between the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and BC Women’s Hospital’s Oak Tree Clinic. The resulting article, “Cancer incidence among HIV-positive women in British Columbia, Canada: Heightened risk of virus-related malignancies” is available at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26268461.

. Women living with HIV face higher rates of cancer diagnosis: Study. BCMJ, Vol. 57, No. 9, November, 2015, Page(s) 399 - News.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

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