Higher CD4 Counts Reduce Risk of HIV-Induced Cancer

A recent study published over at The Lancet Oncology states that HIV-infected patients with higher CD4 counts were less likely to develop several types of cancers.

Some cancer types can be caused by HIV infection (usually referred to as AIDS-defining cancers), but the study suggests that other possible risk factors include low CD4 count, high viral load, and antiretroviral therapy.

According to the researchers, 30 to 40 percent of HIV-positive patients will be diagnosed with cancer.  Among these AIDS-defining cancers include, Kaposi’s sarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and cervical cancer.  Other types of cancer common among HIV-infected patients, but not AIDS-defining, include lung, liver, and anal cancers.

The research finds that the earlier an individual is diagnosed with HIV infection and begins treatment, the greater the chances of preventing cancer.  The researchers have come up with the conclusion after gathering data from over 50,000 HIV-positive individuals in France.

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