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HIV and skin cancer-- are there special precautions?
Jun 27, 2003

Are there special precautions someone with HIV should take in gaurding against skin cancer, and are there any interactions between HIV drugs and the sun? Thank you.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Every human being, whether HIV positive or negative, should take precautions against skin cancer by avoiding overexposure to the sun-- avoiding the beach at high noon, using sunblockers, caps/hats, and so on. HIV infected folks are particularly prone to skin cancers. Please realize that the vast majority of exposure to the sun occurs during childhood.

Most of the HIV drugs do NOT react with the sun. However, some of the antibiotics can cause phototoxicity (a sunburn when an individual goes into the sun). Antibiotics in the tetracycline class are notorious for causing such phototoxicity.


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