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Demographics and incidence of anal squamous cell carcinoma in people living in high HIV prevalence geographical areas


Objectives Anal squamous cell carcinoma (ASCC) is an uncommon cancer that is rapidly increasing in incidence. HIV is a risk factor in the development of ASCC, and it is thought that the rapidly increasing incidence in men is related to increasing numbers of people living with HIV (PLWH). We undertook a population-based study comparing the demographics and incidence of ASCC in patients residing high HIV prevalence areas in England to patients living in average HIV prevalence areas in England.

Methods This is a cross-sectional study following the ‘Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology’ statement. Demographic data and incidence rates of ASCC within Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) between 2013 and 2018 were extracted from the Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset. CCGs were then stratified by HIV prevalence from data given by Public Health England, and high HIV prevalence geographical areas were compared with average HIV geographical areas.

Results Patients in high HIV areas were more likely to be young and male with higher levels of social deprivation. Incidence rates in men between 2013 and 2017 were higher in high HIV areas than average HIV areas with a rapidly increasing incidence rates in early-stage disease and a 79.1% reduction in incidence of metastatic stage 4 disease.

Whereas women in high HIV areas had lower ASCC incidence than the national average and a low incidence of early-stage disease; however, metastatic disease in women had quintupled in incidence in high HIV areas since 2013.

Conclusions Patients presenting with ASCC in high HIV geographical areas have different demographics to patients presenting in average HIV geographical areas. This may be related to screening programmes for PLWH in high HIV areas.

  • HIV
  • epidemiology
  • gastroenterology
  • genital neoplasms
  • female
  • genital neoplasms
  • male

Data availability statement

Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. Data are available from Public Health England on request.

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