Background: Research suggests that cumulative measurement of HIV exposure is associated with mortality, AIDS, and AIDS-defining malignancies. However, the relationship between cumulative HIV and non–AIDS-defining malignancies (NADMs) remains unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of different HIV measures on NADM hazard among HIV-infected male veterans.
Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study using Veterans Affairs HIV Clinical Case Registry data from 1985 to 2010. We analyzed the relationship between HIV exposure (recent HIV RNA, % undetectable HIV RNA, and HIV copy-years viremia) and NADM. To evaluate the effect of HIV, we calculated hazard ratios for 3 common virally associated NADM [ie, hepatocarcinoma (HCC), Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), and squamous cell carcinoma of the anus (SCCA)] in multivariable Cox regression models.
Results: Among 31,576 HIV-infected male veterans, 383 HCC, 211 HL, and 373 SCCA cases were identified. In multivariable regression models, cross-sectional HIV measurement was not associated with NADM. However, compared with <20% undetectable HIV, individuals with ≥80% had decreased HL [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) = 0.62; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.37 to 1.02] and SCCA (aHR = 0.64; 95% CI: 0.44 to 0.93). Conversely, each log10 increase in HIV copy-years was associated with elevated HL (aHR = 1.22; 95% CI: 1.06 to 1.40) and SCCA (aHR = 1.36; 95% CI: 1.21 to 1.52). Model fit was best with HIV copy-years. Cumulative HIV was not associated with HCC.
Conclusions: Cumulative HIV was associated with certain virally associated NADM (ie, HL and SCCA), independent of measured covariates. Findings underline the importance of early treatment initiation and durable medication adherence to reduce cumulative HIV burden. Future research should prioritize how to best apply cumulative HIV measures in screening for these cancers.