Cancer and AIDS: Why AIDS causes cancer?

People with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV; HIV) or AIDS (AIDS, in English) are at increased risk of certain cancers

The risk of these cancers also increases in people with HIV / AIDS

This effect is not the same on other cancers. HAART therapy has not changed the risk of cervical cancer and has increased the risk of Hodgkin lymphoma, liver cancer and anus.

Other cancers are neither more nor less frequent among people with HIV. For example

It is known that HIV destroys T CD-4 cells, which are essential for the immune system to defend us against infections and other diseases. When HIV weakens the immune system, it presents an opportunity for certain cancers develop and grow quickly, especially those caused by or associated with viruses.

Kaposi sarcoma cause skin lesions in the lining of the mouth, nose and throat, lymph nodes and other organs such as the stomach, intestines, lungs, liver and spleen.

The lesions usually have a purple and contain cancer cells, blood vessels, red blood cells and white. Unlike other cancers, Kaposi’s sarcoma can start in several places in the body at the same time.

It is possible that the immune system weakened by HIV can not control growth VH8, which enables the virus to multiply in the cells and turn cancerous.

The previous virus infections are more common in people with AIDS, which also occur more often habits that increase the risk of certain cancers, such as smoking and heavy drinking. These habits increase the risk of cancer of the lung and liver, among others.

More information

National Cancer Institute, “HIV Infection and Cancer Risk,” http://www.cancer.gov/espanol/recursos/hojas-informativas/riesgo-causas/infeccion-vih (accessed on March 15, 2013)

S.A. Grulich, et.al., “Incidence of cancer in people with HIV / AIDS compared with transplant recipients: a meta-analysis,” (in English), Lancet, July 2007, Vol 370, No. 9581. 59 -67, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=17617273

M.S. Shiels and E.A. Engels, “Increased risk of cancer subtypes defined histologically in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus individuals: indication of causes associated with immunosuppression or infection,” (in English), Cancer, October, 2012, vol.118, no. 19: 4869-76; http: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22359254