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HIV and Lymphoma

hiv and lymphoma

What is Lymphoma and HIV?

Lymphoma refers to a condition involving the lymphatic system. This type of cancer is usually diagnosed in individuals with complications in their immune systems.  Meanwhile, HIV is an infection that impairs the body’s ability to protect against diseases. The HIV virus functions by multiplying its number within the body and paving the way for different illnesses.


The connection between HIV and lymphoma

Individuals with HIV can develop lymphoma since the condition involves complications in the body’s immunity. Thankfully, after the development of ART (antiretroviral therapy), it is possible to recover from HIV and prevent other health complications from developing.

Knowing your HIV status is necessary if you have lymphoma. Immediate testing is needed if symptoms of this cancer show up. While a majority of individuals diagnosed with lymphoma are not HIV-positive, testing is a must to help your doctor decide your best medical treatment.

Should you be diagnosed with both conditions, your doctor will prescribe you better treatment. Besides ART, you will receive treatment for lymphoma simultaneously.


Symptoms and types

Expect the following symptoms involving lymphoma and HIV.

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Recurrent night sweats
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain

Consider the following types of conditions that individuals with the human immunodeficiency virus often experience.

  • Burkitt lymphoma – It develops when there is an uncontrolled growth of lymphocytes. Once the treatment is absent for HIV-positive people, this condition can happen.
  • Diffuse large B-cell – This condition develops from the abnormal B cells.
  • Primary effusion – This condition usually develops in younger individuals with human immunodeficiency virus. Besides the infection, PEL is also associated with the herpes virus.


Medical treatment

In terms of medical care, chemotherapy is the best choice for lymphoma. However, different drugs are also used. Before the administration of treatment, the doctor will consider several factors. It includes the severity of the condition.

Meanwhile, for individuals diagnosed with HIV, treatment involving ART is still a must. However, dosage adjustment is possible to avoid interactions with treatment for lymphoma.


Consider the following steps to prevent health complications related to the two conditions.

  • Look for signs of illnesses – If you experience symptoms of illnesses involving the infection and lymphoma, report them to the doctor immediately.
  • Practice safe sex – When you engage in any sexual activity, always use condoms to avoid the spread of infection.
  • Stay healthy – Do the following practices to keep yourself healthy – regular exercise, avoid smoking, avoid alcohol abuse, and eat only healthy and nutritious food.

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