In an earlier era, high-dose therapies were thought to be contraindicated in HIV-infected patients. Patients with HIV fared somewhat better with reduced-dose lymphoma therapies and salvage of relapsed patients was rarely possible. With more than a decade of effective antiretroviral therapy, full-dose lymphoma therapies have become standard, and high-dose therapy with autologous hematopoietic stem cell rescue for those who fail frontline therapy or who are judged to have very high risk disease has been pursued with very encouraging results. Transplant-related mortality is less than 5%. With prophylaxis for pneumocystis and herpesvirus infections, deaths due to opportunistic infections are distinctly unusual. Most deaths have been associated with veno-occlusive disease or lymphoma progression. There is no need for quarantine of patients or special isolation procedures. Most patients with responsive lymphoma remain lymphoma free several years after high-dose therapy. CD4+ cell count and HIV load seem not to be adversely affected in the long term. Much like diabetes, HIV infection should be regarded as a problem that requires special attention during high-dose therapy rather than a contraindication to high-dose therapy in patients with lymphoma who would otherwise be judged transplant candidates.
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