HIV Oncology Program at Pennsylvania Hospital

female and male physicians

Program Overview

Individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are more susceptible to certain types of cancer compared to those that are not infected. Since the era of HIV infection began in the 1980s, HIV-cancers have been an increasing problem. For individuals living with HIV, some types of cancers are more common than others. These include Kaposi's sarcoma, invasive cervical cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. While HIV therapy and control has decreased the frequency of some of these cancers, others have emerged as patients are now living longer and doing so much better.

At Pennsylvania Hospital, we offer a comprehensive HIV-cancer evaluation program for those patients who have been diagnosed with and need treatment of HIV-related cancers. We also specialize in all HIV-related hematology problems including anemia, low white blood counts and low platelet counts.

Conditions Treated

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Cervical carcinoma
  • Anal carcinoma
  • HIV Lymphoma
  • Kaposi's sarcoma: a cancer that develops from the cells that line lymph or blood vessels. It usually appears as tumors on the skin or on mucosal surfaces such as inside the mouth, but can also develop in other parts of the body, such as in the lymph nodes, the lungs or digestive tract.
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Head & Neck cancer

Why Choose Penn's HIV Oncology Program?

The HIV oncology team at Pennsylvania Hospital has over 20 years of experience in treating HIV-related cancers. The team, comprised of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, nutrition counselors and a nurse navigator, meets regularly to discuss cases and care issues for HIV oncology patients. Our team provides symptom management, emotional support and resources for the patients and families.

In addition, our program is one of 36 sites in the world that participates in the AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC). AMC, which is supported by the National Cancer Institute, supports innovative trails for AIDS-related cancers. Our oncologists are active members, investigating new treatments and prevention interventions for patients living with HIV-cancers.

Patients also have access to innovative clinical trials here at Penn Medicine. The Abramson Cancer Center has over 250 clinical trials for multiple tumor types, which includes the investigation of HIV associated tumors and cancers.

Treatments and Services Offered by the HIV Oncology Program

We treat cancers for HIV patients similarly to other cancers. We offer the full spectrum of treatments, and support services for HIV-related malignancies, including:


Pennsylvania Hospital
Farm Journal Building
230 West Washington Square
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Resources for HIV Oncology Patients

There are many organizations and resources available for HIV oncology patients. These include:

  • AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania
    The AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania is a non-profit, public interest law firm providing free legal services statewide to people with HIV/AIDS.

    Address: 1211 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
    Phone: 215-587-9377

  • AIDS Library
    The AIDS Library serves the community through delivery of information on HIV, such as treatments, nutrition, and history of the pandemic, and referrals to regional and national resources.

    Address: 1233 Locust Street, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107
    Phone: 215-985-4851

  • AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC)
    The AMC is a National Cancer Institute-supported clinical trials group to support innovative clinical trials for AIDS-related cancers. Penn actively partners with AMC to advance research and treatment options for individuals living with HIV.

    Assistance concerning personal health issues, including questions regarding risk or where to get an HIV test.

    Phone: 800-CDC-INFO, 24 hours/day

  • Health Information Hotline
    Provides intake services to HIV positive individuals requesting case management and information referral services for all other AIDS Activities Coordinating Office (AACO)-funded programs. Processes and evaluates individual requests for HIV/AIDS housing, handles complaints and suggestions about AACO-funded services.

    Address: 1101 Market Street, 9th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19107
    Phone: 800-985-AIDS

  • MANNA (Metropolitan AIDS Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance)
    MANNA provides home delivered and nutritious meals with 11 different diet modifications in and around Philadelphia free of charge.

    Address: 12 South 23rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
    Phone: 215-496-2662

  • Mazzoni Center
    The Mazzoni Center is the oldest AIDS service organization in Pennsylvania. Their HIV-related services include: testing and prevention programs, access to and education about PrEP and PEP, mental health counseling and support groups, case management services, a food bank and more.

    Address: 1348 Bainbridge Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
    Phone: 215-563-0658