This research article examines HIV-associated immunosuppression and increased risk of cancers in the correctional settings.
HIV-associated immunosuppression has been linked to an increased risk of a number of cancers, including Kaposi sarcoma (KS), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), and invasive cervical cancer. Because prison inmates constitute one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalent populations in the US, understanding the link between HIV infection and cancer in the correctional setting holds particular public health relevance. The study population consisted of 336,668 Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates who were incarcerated, for any duration, between 1 January 1999 and 31 December 2001. Inmates diagnosed with HIV infection exhibited elevated rates of KS, NHL, anal cancer, and Hodgkin's disease, after adjusting for age and race. The elevated rates of cancer among HIV-infected individuals, particularly prison inmates, may be mediated, in part, by high-risk behaviours. HIV-associated risk behaviours, including unsafe sexual practices, injection drug use, and prostitution may be associated with cancer-related risk behaviours, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and poor diet. It will be important for future investigators to examine the association between HIV infection and Cancer risk with sufficiently large study cohorts and appropriate longitudinal designs. (Publisher abstract provided)