Risk of Melanoma in People with HIV/AIDS



Results from a meta-analysis of 21 studies that looked at the association between HIV and the relative risk of melanoma in the periods before and after the emergence of potent HIV therapy, show that HIV infection is associated with an increased risk of melanoma. The increased risk of melanoma in populations with HIV/AIDS may be related to effects of HIV infection on the immune system as well as chronic immune activation with inflammation, and immune dysfunction. Overall, people living with HIV were found to have a greater than 25% increase in their relative risk of melanoma compared to the general population. This risk further increases by an additional 50% for white-skinned people with HIV. The study thus concludes that people living with HIV, especially those who are fair-skinned, should be regularly screened for suspicious looking lesions.

Olsen, C. et al. 2014. Risk of Melanoma in People with HIV/AIDS in the Pre- and Post-HAART Eras: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies. PLOS.

International Union of Immunological SocietiesUniversity of South AfricaInstitute of Infectious Disease and Molecular MedicineScience Education PrizesElizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aids Foundation