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Who is most at risk for AIDS-related cancers?

You are most likely to develop the cancers considered AIDS-related if you have HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) plus another risk factor. These risk factors include:
  • a low CD4 (white blood cell) count
  • smoking or excessive drinking
  • human herpesvirus 8 infection
  • human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
  • Epstein-Barr virus infection
  • hepatitis B or C infection
  • failure to take HIV medications properly
Individuals most at risk for AIDS-related cancers are those with untreated or improperly treated HIV. The virus weakens the immune system and reduces the body's ability to fight infections that may lead to cancer. The more active the virus, the more likely it is to have detrimental effects on the immune system and allow cancer to occur. Infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy have much lower rates of cancer due to improved control of the HIV virus than those with untreated infections.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.