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Anal & Cervical Cancer

Anal Pap Smears to Detect Pre-cancerous Cell Changes Are as Effective as Cervical Screening, especially at Low CD4 Counts

Anal cytology testing works about as well as cervical cytology tests -- better known as Pap smears -- for detecting pre-cancerous cell changes (neoplasia) in HIV positive and HIV negative individuals, according to a study published in the January 28, 2010 issue of AIDS. The test was more accurate for higher grades of neoplasia, for HIV positive participants, and for those with lower CD4 cell counts.

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Anal Cancer Treatment Is Equally Effective for HIV Positive and HIV Negative People

HIV positive people with anal cancer can be treated according to standards of care for HIV negative people and achieve equally good outcomes, according to a French retrospective analysis published in the August 15, 2009 issue of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

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Studies Shed Further Light on HPV Infection and Anal Cancer in HIV+ People

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which is common in both HIV positive and HIV negative people, can trigger abnormal cell proliferation. Some types cause warts, while certain "high-risk" types (e.g., 16, 18) can cause oral, genital, cervical, and anal cancer.

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Many HIV Positive Women Do Not Receive Recommended Regular Pap Smears for Cervical Cancer

Although they are at higher risk for cervical cancer, nearly 25% of HIV positive women did not received recommended annual Pap screening, which allows impending cancer to be detected and treated at an early stage, according to a study in the August 1, 2009 Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

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Anal Cancer Risk Remains High among HIV Positive Men and Women on HAART: SUN Study

People with HIV/AIDS are at higher risk for precancerous cell changes due to "high risk" types of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. While invasive cervical cancer is uncommon in developed countries due to routine Pap smears, such screening is not yet recommended for anal cancer (though many experts believe it should be).

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