HIV causes a nearly twofold increase in risk of non-AIDS-defining cancers (NADCs) among men, but antiretrovirals (ARVs) may negate this elevated threat, Medical Daily reports. Publishing their findings in the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, Italian researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of 5,090 HIV-positive people receiving care in the Local Health Authority of Brescia.

The investigators identified 138 cancers among 131 participants, for a mean incidence rate of 42.6 per 10,000 person years. The median age of diagnosis was 49, with a range of 28 to 78 years old. Comparing participants' rates of cancer to similar HIV-negative residents of the region, the investigators found that the men had a 1.86-fold increased rate of NADCs. The study found a 3.59-fold increased risk of lung and a 3.11-fold increased rate of testicular cancer among the participants; the investigators theorized that smoking was a major contributing factor. Factors outside of HIV that raised the risk of NADCs included older age, with a 10 percent increase in risk for each additional year of age, and either a shorter or a lack of exposure to ARVs, which increased the risk 2.31-fold.

The researchers concluded that “the use of [ARVs] appeared to be beneficial in protecting against the development of these malignancies.”

To read the Medical Daily story, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.