aids-related virus

AIDS-related lymphoma

AIDS-related lymphoma describes lymphomas occurring in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

A lymphoma is a type of cancer arising from lymphoid cells. In AIDS, the incidences of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, primary cerebral lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease are all increased.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) is present in about 3% of HIV positive people at the time of their diagnosis of HIV. 20% of HIV positive patients will develop NHL.

Primary cerebral lymphoma

Primary cerebral lymphoma (or primary central nervous system lymphoma) is a form of NHL. It is very rare in immunocompetent people, with an incidence of 5-30 cases per million person-years. However the incidence in immunocompromised individuals is greatly increased, up to 100 per million person-years.

Primary cerebral lymphoma is strongly associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The presence of EBV DNA in cerebrospinal fluid is highly suggestive of primary cerebral lymphoma.

Treatment of AIDS patients with antiretroviral drugs reduces the incidence of primary cerebral lymphoma.

Hodgkin's disease

The incidence of Hodgkin's disease in the general population is about 10-30 per million person-years. This increases to 170 per million person-years in HIV positive patients.


  • Rigolet A, Bossi P, Caumes E, Agher R, Zeller V, Katlama C, Bricaire F. Caractéristiques épidémiologiques et évolution de l'incidence des lymphomes cérébraux primitifs observés chez 80 patients infectés par le VIH entre 1983 et 1999. Pathol Biol (Paris) 2001;49:572-5. PMID 11642021

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