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Skin cancer risk higher in persons with HIV

26 Sep 2018

Patients with HIV appear to be more likely to develop squamous (SCC) and basal (BCC) cell carcinoma, a recent study has found.

The study included 4,280 persons with HIV (median age 38.6 years; 85.1 percent male) and 21,399 age- and sex-matched healthy individuals (median age 38.6 years; 85.1 percent male) who were designated as the matched background cohort. Poisson regression models were used to compare the incidence of SCC, BCC or malignant melanoma (MM) between the patients and background cohort.

The incidence rate of BCC in persons with HIV was 2.43 per 1,000 person-years at risk (PYR), which was greater than that in the matched background cohort (1.43 per 1,000 PYR). The resulting incidence rate ratio [IRR] was 1.79 (95 percent CI, 1.44–2.22), skewed toward persons with HIV.

Stratifying the analysis showed that the incidence rate of BCC was further inflated in men who have sex with men (MSM) relative to the background cohort (3.06 vs 1.42 per 1,000 PYR; IRR, 2.30; 1.76–3.02). In other patients, the difference in risk was less pronounced (with vs without HIV: 1.66 vs 1.44 per 1,000 PYR; IRR, 1.18; 0.81–1.73).

Similar trends were observed for SCC: Participants with HIV demonstrated a much higher rate of SCC than the background cohort (0.50 vs 0.10 per 1,000 PYR; IRR, 5.40; 3.07–9.52). However, the differences in risk were more pronounced in non-MSM (0.48 vs 0.06 per 1,000 PYR; IRR, 8.09; 3.12–21.00) than in MSM (0.52 vs 0.14 per 1,000 PYR; IRR, 4.30; 2.10–8.82).

Infection with HIV had no such effect on the risk of MM (with vs without HIV: 0.17 vs 0.29 per 1,000 PYR; IRR, 0.60; 0.28–1.31).

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