Cancer and HIV infection in referral hospitals from four West African countries.
Sep 12 2015
The consequences of the HIV epidemic on cancer epidemiology are sparsely documented in Africa. We aimed to estimate the association between HIV infection and selected types of cancers among patients hospitalized for cancer in four West African countries. A case-referent study was conducted in referral hospitals of Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria and Togo. Each participating clinical ward included all adult patients seeking care with a confirmed diagnosis of cancer. All patients were systematically screened for HIV infection. HIV prevalence of AIDS-defining and some non-AIDS defining cancers (Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, liver, lung, skin, pharynx, larynx, oral cavity and anogenital cancers) were compared to a referent group of cancers reported in the literature as not associated with HIV. Odds ratios adjusted on age, gender and lifetime number of sexual partners (aOR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated. Among the 1644 cancer patients enrolled, 184 (11.2%) were identified as HIV-infected. The HIV prevalence in the referent group (n=792) was 4.4% [CI 3.0-5.8]. HIV infection was associated with Kaposi sarcoma (aOR 34.6 [CI: 17.3-69.0]), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (aOR 3.6 [CI 1.9-6.8]), cervical cancer (aOR 4.3 [CI 2.2-8.3]), anogenital cancer (aOR 17.7 [CI 6.9-45.2]) and squamous cell skin carcinoma (aOR 5.2 [CI 2.0-14.4]). A strong association is now reported between HIV infection and Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers including cervical cancer and anogenital cancer. As these cancers are amenable to prevention strategies, screening of HPV-related cancers among HIV-infected persons is of paramount importance in this African context.