Lymphoma is common among HIV positive patients with 60-200-fold increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and an 8-fold increased risk of Hodgkin’s lymphoma compared to the average population. Most lymphomas in HIV positive patients are aggressive B-cell lymphomas. The common lymphomas include diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, primary CNS lymphoma and Burkitt’s lymphoma.
HIV associated lymphoma involves a complex interaction of the immune system particularly cytokine production, genetic aberrations, antigen stimulation and oncogenic viruses such as Epstein Barr Virus (EBV). The introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy has led to a reduction in HIV-associated lymphomas. This is many due to improvement in immune function.