HIV/AIDS and Malignancies

People with HIV/AIDS have an increased risk of developing the following

  • cancers: Kaposi sarcoma - people who have had organ transplantation,
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) - cancer of the lymphatic system,
  • Cervical cancer – starts in a woman’s cervix

For people with HIV, these 3 cancers are often called “AIDS-defining conditions.” This means that if a person with an HIV infection has 1 of these cancers, it can mean that AIDS has developed.

The connection between HIV/AIDS and certain malignant growths interface likely relies upon a weakened immune system. Most types of malignancy start when healthy cells change and develop wild, forming a mass called a tumor. A tumor can be cancerous or benign. A cancerous tumor is malignant, which means it can develop and spread to different parts of the body. A benign tumor implies the tumor can develop however won't spread.


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