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January, 2017 – This review highlights recent developments for HIV-associated malignancies in low and middle income countries and suggests that sustained investment within these settings can help catalyze a cancer care and research agenda that benefit patients worldwide.

HIV-associated malignancies in sub-Saharan Africa: progress, challenges, and opportunities

Chinula, Lameck; Moses, Agnes; Gopal, Satish

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS

Full text available at PubMed Central



Purpose of Review
To summarize recent developments for HIV-associated malignancies (HIVAM) in low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC) with particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Recent Findings
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) scale-up is leading to epidemiologic transitions in LMIC similar to high-income countries, with aging and growth of HIV-infected populations, declining infectious deaths, increasing cancer deaths, and transitions from AIDS-defining cancers to non-AIDS defining cancers. Despite ART scale-up, the HIVAM burden remains high including an enormous AIDS-defining cancers burden in SSA. For Kaposi sarcoma, patients treated with ART and chemotherapy can experience good outcomes even in rural SSA, but Kaposi sarcoma heterogeneity remains insufficiently understood including virologic, immunologic, and inflammatory features that may be unique to LMIC. For cervical cancer, scale-up of prevention efforts including vaccination and screening is underway, with benefits already apparent despite continuing high disease burden. For non-Hodgkin lymphoma, curative treatment is possible in the ART era even in SSA, and multifaceted approaches can improve outcomes further. For many other prevalent HIVAM, care and research efforts are being established to guide treatment and prevention specifically in LMIC.

Sustained investment for HIVAM in LMIC can help catalyze a cancer care and research agenda that benefits HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients worldwide.