Objective(s): HIV-positive individuals have elevated rates of anal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and sexually transmitted infections with its causative agent, high-risk human papillomavirus, and other oncoviruses including hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV infection can cause liver cancer, and has been associated with increased risk of some extra-hepatic cancers including biliary tract cancer, pancreatic cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Whether HBV is associated with anal SCC risk is unknown.
Design: Prospective study of anal SCC risk in HIV-positive and HIV-negative MSM in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study from 1984 to 2014.
Methods: Poisson regression models were used to examine the association between past or current HBV infection (positive tests for HBV core antibodies, surface antigen, and/or DNA) and anal SCC risk.
Results: We observed 53 cases of anal SCC among 5298 participants with 79 334 person-years follow-up. Among HIV-positive men, past or current HBV infection was associated with anal SCC risk in models adjusted for age, CD4+ cell counts, HAART use, and other risk factors [incidence rate ratio (IRR), 95% confidence interval 3.15, 1.27-7.82]. Additional risk factors included immunological parameters 1 and 6 years prior to diagnosis (IRR, 95% confidence interval 2.45, 1.31-4.58 and 2.44, 1.3-4.59 for CD4+ cell counts <500 cells/μl; 2.43, 1.34-4.42 and 2.77, 1.5-5.11 for CD4+ : CD8+ ratios <0.5, respectively). Among HIV-negative men, IRR for prior HBV and anal SCC risk was similar, but NS due to small number of cases.
Conclusion: HIV-positive MSM with prior HBV infection have increased anal SCC risk. This population may benefit from screening.