Sustained favourable HIV viral load response in South African patients during concomitant HAART and cancer therapy

Andrew Munyalo Musyoki, Thembeni L. Msibi, Mojakgomo Hendrick Motswaledi, Selokela Gloria Selabe, M. Jeffrey Mphahlele*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. HIV infection has led to an increase of both AIDS defining and non-AIDS defining cancers. Immunosuppressive cancer therapy had been noted for increased HIV viral load in cancer patients infected with HIV before the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Assessing the outcome of concomitant HAART and cancer treatment in regions endemic for HIV is thus important. From a cohort of 34 cancer patients infected with HIV, 10 (six underwent radiotherapy and four chemotherapy) had at least three serial samples collected before, during and after treatment. From each sample, HIV viral load, CD4+ and CD8+ cell count was investigated. HIV genotypic drug resistance was assessed for six patients with a detectable HIV viral load at baseline. Of the 10 patients; one was HIV positive only, three were HIV and HBV co-infected and six were HIV, HBV and HCV triple infected. Four patients were HAART experienced at recruitment, while six were HAART naive with detectable HIV viral loads. A significant HIV viral load decrease (P=0.0128) was observed in all six patients with detectable baseline HIV viral loads. The four patients on HAART at recruitment maintained lower than detectable HIV viral load status throughout cancer therapy. A positive correlation between the rise in CD4+ cell count and attaining a lower than detectable HIV viral load was also observed (P=0.0439). This pilot study supports concomitant treatment of HIV/AIDS and cancer in HIV endemic regions irrespective of the type of cancer diagnosed, prescribed cancer therapy or other viral (HBV, HCV or both) co-infections. J. Med. Virol. 87:192-198, 2015.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-198
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • Cancer
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • South Africa


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