Incidence of types of cancer among HIV-infected persons compared with the general population in the United States, 1992-2003

Ann Intern Med. 2008 May 20;148(10):728-36. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-148-10-200805200-00005.


Background: Persons who are HIV-infected may be at higher risk for certain types of cancer than the general population.

Objective: To compare cancer incidence among HIV-infected persons with incidence in the general population from 1992 to 2003.

Design: Prospective observational cohort studies.

Setting: United States.

Patients: 54,780 HIV-infected persons in the Adult and Adolescent Spectrum of HIV Disease Project (47,832 patients) and the HIV Outpatient Study (6948 patients), who contributed 157,819 person-years of follow-up from 1992 to 2003, and 334,802,121 records from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program of 13 geographically defined, population-based, central cancer registries.

Measurements: Standardized rate ratios (SRRs) to compare cancer incidence in the HIV-infected population with standardized cancer incidence in the general population.

Results: The incidence of the following types of non-AIDS-defining cancer was significantly higher in the HIV-infected population than in the general population: anal (SRR, 42.9 [95% CI, 34.1 to 53.3]), vaginal (21.0 [CI, 11.2 to 35.9]), Hodgkin lymphoma (14.7 [CI, 11.6 to 18.2]), liver (7.7 [CI, 5.7 to 10.1]), lung (3.3 [CI, 2.8 to 3.9]), melanoma (2.6 [CI, 1.9 to 3.6]), oropharyngeal (2.6 [CI, 1.9 to 3.4]), leukemia (2.5 [CI, 1.6 to 3.8]), colorectal (2.3 [CI, 1.8 to 2.9]), and renal (1.8 [CI, 1.1 to 2.7]). The incidence of prostate cancer was significantly lower among HIV-infected persons than the general population (SRR, 0.6 [CI, 0.4 to 0.8]). Only the relative incidence of anal cancer increased over time.

Limitations: Lower ascertainment of cancer in the HIV cohorts may result in a potential bias to underestimate rate disparities. Tobacco use as a risk factor and the effect of changes in cancer screening practices could not be evaluated.

Conclusion: The incidence of many types of non-AIDS-defining cancer was higher among HIV-infected persons than among the general population from 1992 to 2003.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Observation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / complications
  • United States / epidemiology