What are AIDS-related cancers?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
AIDS-related cancers are certain cancer types that are more likely to occur in people who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The most common types are Kaposi sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Other AIDS-related cancers include Hodgkin disease and cancers of the lung, mouth, cervix, and digestive system.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.



People with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are more likely than other people to develop certain kinds of AIDS-related cancers. Some of these are called AIDS-defining cancers, when acquired by HIV-infected people, because they define the point at which HIV has developed into AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). These include:
  • Kaposi sarcoma
  • non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • cervical cancer
People with HIV face an increased risk of some other cancers, as well:
  • Hodgkin lymphoma, also called Hodgkin disease
  • digestive tract cancers, including anal cancer
  • mouth cancer
  • lung cancer
  • liver cancer

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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.