Objectives: HIV-related immunosuppression has been associated with the development of AIDS-defining malignancies. We examined the overall survival of HIV-infected patients who developed cancer. Design: A retrospective cohort study. Methods: Using the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database, we compared patients diagnosed with HIV (n= 9918) between January 1, 2002, and December 31, 2007 with age-matched controls (n= 99,180). Each patient was followed until the end of 2009 (least 2 years after the initial HIV diagnosis) to evaluate the incidence of malignancies. Results: The risk of overall malignancies in the HIV-infected cohort was 1.88 times higher than the risk of a first malignancy in the age-matched non-HIV infected cohort (incidence rate ratio [IRR]) = 2.05, p<0.0001). The diagnosis of a malignancy was negatively correlated with survival in the HIV-infected cohort (p<0.0011), and HIV infection had a synergistic effect on the survival of patients with malignancies compared with the non-HIV infected cohort, all of who had been newly diagnosed with cancer (p<0.0001). However, the difference in the risk of developing nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), a highly prevalent malignancy in Taiwan, between the two cohorts was not significant (IRR = 0.22, 95% CI = 0.03-1.65). Conclusions: The risk of cancer in HIV-infected patients in Taiwan has increased significantly in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy. A history of HIV significantly affected the survival of the patients in our study cohort after they developed cancer. Evidence level: 2B.
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