The Link Between HIV and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
People with the human immunodeficiency virus have a higher risk of developing cancer than the general population.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is the
NHL is also the most common cause of death among people with HIV in developed countries, making up 23 to 30 percent of AIDS-related deaths. AIDS is the end stage of untreated HIV infection.
The development of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has decreased the risk of HIV infection becoming AIDS and has decreased the number of people with HIV who develop NHL.
There is a connection between HIV and NHL.
Your immune system can detect and destroy cancer cells. HIV attacks white blood cells called CD4 or T cells. These cells help coordinate other immune cells to target infections or tumors.
NHL is the most common cancer that develops in people with HIV infection. About 60 to 70 percent of these cancers are an aggressive form of NHL called diffuse large B cell lymphoma.
There are risk factors for diffuse large B cell lymphoma.
- HIV viral loads increased.
- Epstein-Barr virus exposure
- The CD4 cell count is lower.
- Current levels of immunosuppression.
Kaposi sarcoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
HIV increases your risk of contracting a human herpesviruses 8.
This virus is also called Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus since it leads to the development of Kaposi sarcoma (KS). KS is a cancer that causes lesions to grow on your skin and internal organs.
In addition to KS, HHV-8 can trigger the development of lymphomas. The most common is primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), a rare and aggressive B cell lymphoma. PEL accounts for about
People with HIV are more likely to be diagnosed with lymphoma in advanced stages.
It is possible to be mistaken for symptoms of AIDS-associated infections. They can include:
- It is possible to lose weight unintentionally.
- There is a high degree of fever.
- Sweating night and day.
- swollen lymph nodes, often painless and in the neck, chest, groin, or underarm,
- The ribs are full.
Treatment for HIV-associated lymphoma combines treatment of HIV with lymphoma.
“HAART is used to help the immune system and may allow you to receive higher doses of the drug. Taking your HAART medications as recommended is the best way to prevent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from developing.”
Before the development of HAART, people with HIV had a 60 to 200 times greater risk of developing NHL than the general population, but now the risk is only 11 to 17 times higher.
The treatment for NHL depends on where the cancer is. Doctors use four standard treatments to treat NHL in people with HIV.
- The treatment is called Chemo.
- Radiation therapy is done.
- high-dose The treatment is called Chemo. with bone marrow transplant
- Targeted therapy.
Doctors recommend the same The treatment is called Chemo. regimens for people without HIV as they do for people with HIV.
New treatment options are being investigated.
NHL is the most common AIDS-defining cancer. AIDS-defining illnesses are potentially life threatening conditions that are signs that HIV infection has progressed to AIDS.
There are more than 60 subcategories of NHL. According to the
In a 2021 study, researchers found that the following types of NHL were most common among 164 people with HIV or AIDS treated at one health center:
|diffuse large B cell lymphoma||56%|
|primary diffuse large B cell lymphoma||3%|
|mature T and natural killer cell cancers||3%|
|other B cell lymphomas||2%|
The researchers also found that 3 percent of people had Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The outlook for people with HIV depends on a number of factors.
- The cancer stage is very serious.
- The count of CD4
- There are places where lymphoma has spread.
- Do you have a history of usingIV drugs?
- Does it matter whether you can do daily activities?
Outlook has improved greatly due to the wide use and availability of HAART. But people with HIV still have a poorer outlook than people in the general population with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Outcomes are very poor when lymphoma doesn’t respond to first-line The treatment is called Chemo.. Currently, there’s no standard second-line therapy, but researchers continue to examine new treatment options.
Some groups are at an elevated risk of contracting HIV, even though it can affect anyone. African Americans make up 42% of new HIV infections, and men make up 80%.
Fewer African Americans are virally suppressed, which increases the chances of the infection progressing to AIDS.
People ask a lot of questions about the connection between NHL and HIV.
Does having non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma increase my risk of contracting HIV?
Having a disease like lymphoma can make you more prone to infections like HIV.
How can I reduce my risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma if I have HIV?
Taking HAART as your doctor recommends
- A balanced diet is what you should be eating.
- Maintaining a moderate weight.
- avoiding alcohol and drugs.
- Attend your medical checkup.
What else increases my risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
NHL has other risk factors.
- Increasing age.
- Some male sex is more common in females.
- The family history of the NHL.
- Exposure to some pesticides.
- Radiation exposure can be harmful.
- Other conditions that affect your immune system.
Does living with HIV increase my risk for other cancers?
HIV makes it harder for your body to fight infection. This means it also increases your risk for cancer.
In addition to NHL, HIV
- Kaposi sarcoma (from HHV-8)
- cervical cancer (HPV)
- anal cancer (HPV)
- liver cancer (HBV or HCV)
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma (EBV)
It also increases risk of of developing oral or lung cancer.
“People with HIV are more likely to have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma than the general population.”
The development of HAART has resulted in improved outcomes for people with HIV and fewer people developing AIDS and AIDS-defining cancers.
If you have an elevated risk of HIV, your doctor may offer you an HIV test if you are diagnosed with NHL.
Many lymphomas are treatable. Your doctor can help you with both HIV and NHL. They can help you find support groups and other resources that will make it easier to deal with your diagnosis.
For more information on either condition, you can call the American Cancer Society’s