- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL): 66 percent of HIV-positive people with advanced NHL (spread throughout the body) now survive at least a year after diagnosis, and 55 percent live for five years—and counting. In the early days of HIV, positive people with this lymphatic cancer commonly died within eight to 26 months of diagnosis. Now, positive and negative people with NHL have similar survival rates.
- Anal cancer: 85 percent of HIV-positive people with anal cancer survive for at least three years following diagnosis—a rate identical to that for HIV-negative people with the cancer. Anal cancer is most often caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
To improve your own survival rate, screen regularly for anal dysplasia. Detected early, abnormal anal cells can be treated and prevented from progressing to cancer.
In general, to help keep cancer at arm’s length and a longer life close at hand: Keep your HIV in check and CD4 count up (by adhering to HIV med dosing) and avoid cigarettes (a major cancer promoter).