Women with HIV are at increased risk for anal cancer, a new study finds.
Researchers at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City looked at 715 HIV-infected women and found that 10.5% had some form of anal disease and about one-third of those women had precancerous disease.
"Anal cancer was widely associated with HIV-infected men who have sex with men. But now, this study reveals anal precancerous disease in a high proportion of women with HIV," Dr Mark Einstein, director of clinical research in the division of gynaecologic oncology and a professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said.
HIV and HPV link
The increased risk of anal cancer in HIV-infected women is likely because HIV is associated with human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes nearly all anal cancers, the researchers said.
The study appears in the Journal of AIDS.
The researchers said their findings suggest that all HIV-infected women who have abnormal findings on tests of anal tissue samples should be referred for high resolution anoscopy, a visual examination of the inside of the anus.
In addition, all HIV-infected women and men should be considered for anal cancer screening, the researchers said.
Women and HIV
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about anal cancer.
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