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Vulvar and vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia in HIV-infected women

William R Robinson, MD
Section Editor
Barbara Goff, MD
Deputy Editor
Sandy J Falk, MD, FACOG


Women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are at an increased risk of vulvar and vaginal neoplasia [1-5]. As with cervical neoplasia, the incidence and severity of vulvar and vaginal premalignant and malignant disease appear to correlate with worsening immunosuppression [6-8]. Furthermore, despite standard therapy, HIV-infected women with vulvar or vaginal neoplasia have higher rates of persistence and recurrence than the general population, again similar to cervical neoplasia [9,10].

Screening, diagnosis, and treatment for vulvar and vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN and VAIN) in HIV-infected women will be reviewed here. Vulvar and vaginal neoplasia in the general population are discussed separately. (See "Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia" and "Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia".)


The Vulvar Oncology Subcommittee of the International Society for the Study of Vulvar Diseases (ISSVD) published a classification system for VIN in 2004 [11]. The term VIN was limited to histologically high-grade squamous lesions (formerly termed VIN 2 and VIN 3), for which treatment is indicated to prevent progression to cancer [11]. Lesions previously referred to as VIN 1 were no longer classified as VIN. This topic review will adhere to the 2004 ISSVD nomenclature except when data are reported from studies that used the previous classification. (See "Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia", section on 'Terminology'.)


VIN and VAIN are precursors to vulvar and vaginal cancer and are more common in women infected with HIV [12-14]. In the general United States population, the estimated incidence of VIN and VAIN is 2.9 and 0.2 to 0.3 per 100,000 women, respectively. (See "Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia", section on 'Epidemiology' and "Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia", section on 'Epidemiology and risk factors'.)

The incidence of VIN and VAIN in HIV-infected women has not been extensively studied, but the available data are consistent with increased risk:

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 26, 2017.
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