Trends in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Incidence and Risk among Persons with HIV in the US and Canada, 1996-2015

Jing Sun, Keri N. Althoff, Yuezhou Jing, Michael A. Horberg, Kate Buchacz, M. John Gill, Amy C. Justice, Charles S. Rabkin, James J. Goedert, Keith Sigel, Edward Cachay, Lesley Park, Joseph K. Lim, H. Nina Kim, Vincent Lo Re, Richard Moore, Timothy Sterling, Marion G. Peters, Chad J. Achenbach, Michael SilverbergJennifer E. Thorne, Angel M. Mayor, Heidi M. Crane, Mari M. Kitahata, Marina Klein, Gregory D. Kirk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Importance: People with HIV (PWH) are often coinfected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and/or hepatitis C virus (HCV), leading to increased risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but few cohort studies have had sufficient power to describe the trends of HCC incidence and risk among PWH in the combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) era. Objective: To determine the temporal trends of HCC incidence rates (IRs) and to compare rates by risk factors among PWH in the cART era. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study used data from the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design (NA-ACCORD) study, which was conducted between 1996 and 2015. NA-ACCORD pooled individual-level data from 22 HIV clinical and interval cohorts of PWH in the US and Canada. PWH aged 18 years or older with available CD4 cell counts and HIV RNA data were enrolled. Data analyses were completed in March 2020. Exposures: HBV infection was defined as detection of either HBV surface antigen, HBV e antigen, or HBV DNA in serum or plasma any time during observation. HCV infection was defined by detection of anti-HCV seropositivity, HCV RNA, or detectable genotype in serum or plasma at any time under observation. Main Outcomes and Measures: HCC diagnoses were identified on the basis of review of medical records or cancer registry linkage. Results: Of 109283 PWH with 723441 person-years of follow-up, the median (interquartile range) age at baseline was 43 (36-51) years, 93017 (85.1%) were male, 44752 (40.9%) were White, 44322 (40.6%) were Black, 21343 (19.5%) had HCV coinfection, 6348 (5.8%) had HBV coinfection, and 2082 (1.9%) had triple infection; 451 individuals received a diagnosis of HCC by 2015. Between the early (1996-2000) and modern (2006-2015) cART eras, the crude HCC IR increased from 0.28 to 0.75 case per 1000 person-years. HCC IRs remained constant among HIV-monoinfected persons or those coinfected with HBV, but from 1996 to 2015, IRs increased among PWH coinfected with HCV (from 0.34 cases/1000 person-years in 1996 to 2.39 cases/1000 person-years in 2015) or those with triple infection (from 0.65 cases/1000 person-years in 1996 to 4.49 cases/1000 person-years in 2015). Recent HIV RNA levels greater than or equal to 500 copies/mL (IR ratio, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.4-2.4) and CD4 cell counts less than or equal to 500 cells/μL (IR ratio, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.0-1.6) were associated with higher HCC risk in the modern cART era. People who injected drugs had higher HCC risk compared with men who had sex with men (IR ratio, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.3-2.9), adjusted for HBV-HCV coinfection. Conclusions and Relevance: HCC rates among PWH increased significantly over time from 1996 to 2015. PWH coinfected with viral hepatitis, those with higher HIV RNA levels or lower CD4 cell counts, and those who inject drugs had higher HCC risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2037512
JournalJAMA network open
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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