Cancer incidence trends in women at high risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection

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Abstract

To determine the types and rates of tumors which may be associated with HIV infection in women, we used cancer incidence data from New York and northern New Jersey. We examined changes in incidence of selected cancers in women aged 20-49 years and compared groups differing in incidence of AIDS. Black women were compared to white women in New York City and in the remainder of New York State; for cervical cancer, rates were also compared for Blacks and Whites in northern New Jersey. The incidence of Kaposi's sarcoma in women increased in New York City, beginning in 1982 for Blacks and in 1984 for Whites, but remained stable in the remainder of New York State. The incidence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in New York women doubled in Blacks after 1982 whereas incidence trends in Whites were unchanged. No consistent variation was seen in the incidence of Hodgkin's disease. Cervical cancer in New York and northern New Jersey Blacks declined over the same period by approximately 40% for invasive tumors and 50% for in situ lesions. The HIV epidemic is associated with substantial excesses of Kaposi's sarcoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in women. The absence of Kaposi's sarcoma in upstate New York women suggests the existence of a geographically restricted co-factor(s) for Kaposi's sarcoma in addition to HIV. If HIV affected cervical cancer incidence through 1988, its impact was small compared to the striking decreases which followed widespread adoption of Papanicolaou screening.

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