HealthDay News — The proportion of cancer survivors undergoing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing varies by state, demographic, and health-related factors, results of a study published in the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preventing Chronic Disease indicate.

“Compared with the general population, people with HIV infection have increased cancer risks; Kaposi sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and cervical cancer are acquired immune deficiency syndrome- (AIDS-) defining cancers,” noted Jun Li, MD, PhD, MPH, of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and colleagues.

“Because of co-infections with hepatitis B and C and Epstein-Barr virus, HIV-infected people also have elevated risks for non-AIDS-defining cancers, such as liver cancer and Hodgkin disease.”

To estimate the proportion of cancer survivors in the United States tested for HIV, the investigators used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Of the study population, the researchers found that 41% of cancer survivors aged less than 65 years had ever had an HIV test. The proportion of survivors tested was highest among those aged 25 to 34 years, non-Hispanic blacks, and cervical cancer survivors (72.2%, 59.5%, and 51.2%, respectively).

The proportion tested varied from a high of 68.3% in the District of Columbia to a low of 24.1% in Nebraska. Factors associated with HIV testing included being non-Hispanic black or Hispanic, not being disabled, and having medical cost concerns. Among females only, having an AIDS-related cancer correlated with HIV testing.

Being non-Hispanic black or Hispanic, being younger, having higher education, not being married or living with a partner, not being disabled, and having medical cost concerns were factors associated with HIV testing. Among females only, having an AIDS-related cancer correlated with HIV testing.

“Our study points to the need for public health interventions to promote HIV testing among cancer survivors,” wrote the researchers.


  1. Li J et al. Preventing Chronic Disease. 2014; doi: 10.5888/pcd11.140274