HIV-infected men on antiretroviral therapy have a lower incidence of prostate cancer (PCa) compared with those in the general population, new study findings suggest.

The study also found that the incidence of other common non-AIDS-defining cancers—colorectal and lung cancer—is lower among HIV-infected men and women.

Using the LifeLink Health Plan Claims Database, Jeannette Y. Lee, MD, of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, and colleagues analyzed data from 63,221 commercially insured individuals aged 18 years and older with at least 1 claim with a diagnostic code for HIV and at least 1 filled prescription for an antiretroviral medication. The investigators estimated the number of expected cancer cases in the general population for each gender-based age group using incidence rates from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program.

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The incidence of PCa was 30% lower among HIV-infected men compared with men in the general population, Dr Lee’s group reported in the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology (2016;2138259).

The finding of a lower PCa incidence in HIV-infected men confirms previous reports. Although it was suggested that the decreased incidence may be associated with lower use of PSA testing, Dr Lee and her colleagues noted that a study comparing men with and without HIV infection in California found no difference with regard to PSA screening.

For the overall study cohort, the incidence of colorectal cancer and lung cancer was 31% and 30% lower compared with the general population. HIV-infected individuals had 46-fold higher incidence of Kaposi sarcoma, 30.5-fold higher incidence of anal cancer, 9.8-fold higher incidence of Hodgkin lymphoma, and 4.2-fold higher incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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