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Earlier HIV treatment reduces risk of cancer

Category: HIV

Regular HIV testing is important for sexually active, high-risk individuals because the sooner an infection is diagnosed, the more successfully it can be treated. This may be true for a number of the aspects of the disease.

Early intervention with antiretroviral drugs has been shown to slow the destruction of immune cells and prevent an HIV infection from progressing to full-blown AIDS. Now, a new study has shown that it may also reduce a person's risk of developing cancer as a result of the disease.

An impaired immune system is a major risk factor for cancer, and HIV patients are known to have higher rates of carcinoma. However, a team of investigators from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research reported in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention that HIV patients with higher CD4 counts - a measure of immune function - have a lower risk of cancer.

"Taken together, we believe our results support cancer prevention strategies that combine routine prevention activities, such as smoking cessation, with earlier HIV treatment to help maintain a patient's immune system," said lead researcher Dr. Michael Silverberg.ADNFCR-2248-ID-800648580-ADNFCR

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