A new study has shown a decrease in AIDS-related cancers in the United States. People diagnosed with HIV have experienced the drop in these particular cancers but not all types of cancer. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. National Cancer Institute conducted the study. They found that the three main AIDS-related cancers—non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, and invasive cervical cancer, have shown a drop in people infected with HIV. These three cancers determine whether a person has transitioned from HIV to full-blown-AIDS. Between the years of 1991 and 1995, 34,000 cases of these cancers existed. Between 2002 and 2005 the number decreased to 10,000. The researchers believe the decrease is due to the introduction of active antiretroviral therapy in 1996. This therapy reduces the progression from HIV to AIDS, increases immune function and strength, and improves the survival rate of people with HIV.
Though AIDS-related cancers have decreased among people infected with HIV, other cancers have seen an increase. Cancers dude to smoking have been on the rise as well as age-related cancers and cancers from viral infections. The same study publishing the decrease also reported other cancers have tripled from 3,000 to 10,000 from 1991 to 2005. Dr. Eric A. Engels says, “the changing number and types of cancer for people with HIV/AIDS highlights the need for research focusing on the specific cancer prevention needs of this population, including smoking cessation, treatment of hepatitis B and C viral infections and prevention and screening for HPV-related cancers.”