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Viral Suppression & Decreased Cancer Risk

Ann Intern Med; ePub 2018 Jun 12; Park, et al

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) resulting in long-term viral suppression may contribute to cancer prevention, a recent study suggests. In this prospective cohort, researchers sought to determine whether viral suppression is associated with decreased cancer risk in HIV-positive veterans (n=42,441) demographically matched to uninfected veterans (n=104,712) from 1999 to 2015. They found:

  • Cancer incidence for HIV-positive vs uninfected persons was highest for unsuppressed persons, lower among persons with early suppression, and lowest among those with long-term suppression.
  • This trend was strongest for AIDS-defining cancer (ADC), much weaker for non-AIDS-defining cancer (NADC), and absent for NADC not caused by viruses.
  • Patients with long-term viral suppression still had excess cancer risk.


Park LS, Tate JP, Sigel K, et al. Association of viral suppression with lower AIDS-defining and non–AIDS-defining cancer incidence in HIV-infected veterans: A prospective cohort study. [Published online ahead of print June 12, 2018]. Ann Intern Med. doi:10.7326/M16-2094.