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HIV and the risk of anal cancer


A local health orientated website, health-e reports that anal cancer rates are higher among people infected with HIV, according to new data published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. 
The highest rates of anal cancer were found in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM), but rates of anal cancer among HIV-positive men and women in general were also higher than rates in the general population.

Dr Kevin Rebe comments on this article:

"Anal cancers among MSM and specifically HIV positive MSM ARE higher than in the general population.  The article reports the risk as 80 time higher than in HIV uninfected men.  The risk is still small as 80 times a very small risk still equates to a small risk.  For example, if the risk of getting a disease is 0.01% then 80 times that risk is 0.8 or still less than 1%.

Also the absolute incidence reported was 131 per 100 000 patient years which means that if you followed 100 000 patients over a year, 131 would have anal cancers, which equates to 1.3 cases per 1000 HIV positive MSM (the highest risk group).

Anova does believe that HPV associated anal cancers in MSM are important and we will be including this as a research priority going forwards.  We will be collaborating with the NICD to investigate HPV among MSM with the ultimate goal of being able to describe the burden of disease among African MSM, and using that knowledge to provide guidance to the South African Government about screening, treatment and HPV vaccination programs for local MSM."

  Kevin Rebe – Specialist Medical Consultant 

  Ivan Tom's Health4Men


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