Signs and Symptoms of HIV Associated Cancer

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Executive Summary

HIV or AIDS-related cancer is diagnosed based particularly on the symptoms. Moreover, the signs and symptoms of HIV or AIDS-associated cancer experienced by the individuals help understanding the medical problem. Some of the HIV-associated cancer include minor skin lesions to multiple lesions, affecting internal organs and tissues such as the lymph nodes, the digestive tract, and the lungs. Besides it, unexplained weight loss and fever, diarrhea, and digestive tract problems in the case of Kaposi sarcoma.

In addition to this, frequent night sweats, unexplained weight loss, fever, and swollen lymph nodes in the groin, underarms, and neck are also common symptoms. Additionally memory loss, fatigue, seizures, sense of fullness in the chest of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Furthermore, abnormal vaginal bleeding, unusual and foul-smelling vaginal discharge, and discomfort during sexual intercourse are the symptoms of cervical cancer. And also, unexplained pain in the anal region, bleeding from the anal area, sudden change in bowel habits, lump or outgrowth in the anal region, and itchiness in the anal region for anal cancer.

Signs and Symptoms of HIV Associated Cancer

Furthermore, different types of HIV-associated cancer cause various symptoms. Accordingly, some of the HIV-associated cancer is mentioned below:

Kaposi sarcoma

  • Lesions range from a few minor skin lesions to multiple lesions.
  • Kaposi sarcoma can affect internal organs and tissues such as the lymph nodes, the digestive tract, and the lungs.
  • Unexplained weight loss and fever.
  • Diarrhoea in addition to digestive tract problems.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

  • Frequent night sweats.
  • Unexplained weight loss and fever.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in groin, underarms and neck.
  • May also be accompanied by memory loss, fatigue and seizures.
  • Sense of fullness in the chest.

Cervical cancer

  • May be coupled with abnormal vaginal bleeding.
  • Unusual and foul-smelling vaginal discharge.
  • Discomfort during sexual intercourse.

Anal cancer

  • Unexplained pain in the anal region.
  • Bleeding from the anal area.
  • Sudden change in bowel habits.
  • Lump or outgrowth in anal region.
  • Itchiness in the anal region.

Lung cancer

  • Unexplained severe coughing.
  • Presence of blood in sputum
  • Breathing trouble coupled with mild to severe chest pain and fatigue.
  • Unexplained weight loss​1,2​.


  1. 1.
    Yarchoan R, Uldrick T. HIV-Associated Cancers and Related Diseases. N Engl J Med. 2018;378(11):1029-1041. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1615896
  2. 2.
    AIDS Related Malignancies. Health. Published 2022. Accessed March 2022.