Laryngeal disorders in people living with HIV

Krzysztof Piersiala, Samuel F. Weinreb, Lee M. Akst, Alexander T. Hillel, Simon R. Best

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Several studies have shown that HIV infected individuals are at higher risk compared to the general population of developing non-AIDS defining conditions such as some types of cancer, kidney disease, liver disease and others. In this case-control study, we compared the incidence of laryngeal disorders between a treatment-seeking HIV-positive population and uninfected controls. We aimed to investigate whether there are any laryngeal disorders that are overrepresented in HIV-positive individuals. Methods: This was a case-control study based on retrospective chart review, comparing the incidence of laryngeal, airway, and swallowing disorders in sixty-nine HIV positive individuals and 4178 HIV negative controls treated between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017, at the Johns Hopkins Voice Center. Results: A majority of HIV-infected patients (59.4%) had at least one diagnosis belonging to the Vocal cord pathology category compared to 48.2% of controls (OR 1.57, p = 0.065). Compared to the entire treatment-seeking population, HIV patients were more likely to present with laryngeal cancer (15.9% vs. 3.4% in controls, OR 5.43, p < 0.001) and chronic laryngitis (17.4% vs. 4.2%, OR 4.79, p < 0.001). Fungal and ulcerative laryngitis were also overrepresented in HIV-positive individuals (OR 9.45, p < 0.001 and 6.29, p < 0.001, respectively). None of the diagnoses categorized as functional voice disorders, swallowing, or airway problems showed a significant difference between groups. Laryngeal papillomatosis, which is an HPV-dependent disease, had similar prevalence in both groups. Conclusions: Treatment-seeking HIV-positive patients presenting to a laryngology clinic suffer significantly more often from laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma as well as chronic, fungal, and ulcerative laryngitis compared to HIV-negative individuals. Level of evidence: 4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103234
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • Laryngeal cancer
  • Laryngeal disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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