Joel Palefsky, MD

Director of the ANCRE Center
Infectious Disease Specialist

Dr. Joel Palefsky is an expert in infectious diseases and cancers associated with these diseases. His expertise includes the treatment of anal dysplasia, a pre-cancerous condition that may lead to anal cancer and that is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Anal dysplasia occurs in men and women and is especially common among patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). He also specializes in the biology and development of new treatments for HPV and Epstein-Barr virus.

Palefsky earned a medical degree at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and completed a fellowship in infectious disease at Stanford University. He is the founder and president of the International Anal Neoplasia Society and president-elect of the International Papillomavirus Society. He is a professor of medicine and laboratory medicine at UCSF.


Anal Neoplasia Clinic, Research and Education (ANCRE) Center
1701 Divisadero, Suite 480
San Francisco CA 94115
Phone: (415) 353-7100
Fax: (415) 353- 4298

Hours: Monday to Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Conditions & Treatments

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McGill University 1984


McGill University, Internal Medicine 1984


Stanford University, Infectious Disease 1988

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Dube Mandishora RS, Christiansen IK, Chin'ombe N, Duri K, Ngara B, Rounge TB, Meisal R, Ambur OH, Palefsky JM, Stray-Pedersen B, Chirenje ZM. Genotypic diversity of anogenital human papillomavirus in women attending cervical cancer screening in Harare, Zimbabwe. J Med Virol. 2017 Sep; 89(9):1671-1677.
  2. Robbins HA, Strickler HD, Massad LS, Pierce CB, Darragh TM, Minkoff H, Keller MJ, Fischl M, Palefsky J, Flowers L, Rahangdale L, Milam J, Shrestha S, Colie C, D'Souza G. Cervical cancer screening intervals and management for women living with HIV: a risk benchmarking approach. AIDS. 2017 Apr 24; 31(7):1035-1044.
  3. Raghavendran A, Hernandez AL, Lensing S, Gnanamony M, Karthik R, Sivasubramanian M, Kannangai R, Abraham P, Mathai D, Palefsky JM. Genital Human Papillomavirus Infection in Indian HIV-Seropositive Men Who Have Sex With Men. Sex Transm Dis. 2017 Mar; 44(3):173-180.
  4. Kahn JA, Lee J, Belzer M, Palefsky JM. HIV-Infected Young Men Demonstrate Appropriate Risk Perceptions and Beliefs about Safer Sexual Behaviors after Human Papillomavirus Vaccination. AIDS Behav. 2017 Feb 20.
  5. Palefsky JM. Human papillomavirus-associated anal and cervical cancers in HIV-infected individuals: incidence and prevention in the antiretroviral therapy era. Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2017 Jan; 12(1):26-30.
  6. Wang CJ, Sparano J, Palefsky JM. Human Immunodeficiency Virus/AIDS, Human Papillomavirus, and Anal Cancer. Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2017 Jan; 26(1):17-31.
  7. Sparano JA, Lee JY, Palefsky J, Henry DH, Wachsman W, Rajdev L, Aboulafia D, Ratner L, Fitzgerald TJ, Kachnic L, Mitsuyasu R. Cetuximab Plus Chemoradiotherapy for HIV-Associated Anal Carcinoma: A Phase II AIDS Malignancy Consortium Trial. J Clin Oncol. 2016 Dec 12; JCO2016691642.
  8. Haga T, Efird JT, Tugizov S, Palefsky JM. Increased TNF-alpha and sTNFR2 levels are associated with high-grade anal squamous intraepithelial lesions in HIV-positive patients with low CD4 level. Papillomavirus Res. 2017 Jun; 3:1-6.
  9. Lee JY, Dhakal I, Casper C, Noy A, Palefsky JM, Haigentz M, Krown SE, Ambinder RF, Mitsuyasu RT. Risk of Cancer among Commercially Insured HIV-Infected Adults on Antiretroviral Therapy. J Cancer Epidemiol. 2016; 2016:2138259.
  10. Massad L, Keller M, Xie X, Minkoff H, Palefsky J, D'Souza G, Colie C, Villacres M, Strickler H. Multitype Infections With Human Papillomavirus: Impact of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Coinfection. Sex Transm Dis. 2016 Oct; 43(10):637-41.
  11. Hillman RJ, Cuming T, Darragh T, Nathan M, Berry-Lawthorn M, Goldstone S, Law C, Palefsky J, Barroso LF, Stier EA, Bouchard C, Almada J, Jay N. 2016 IANS International Guidelines for Practice Standards in the Detection of Anal Cancer Precursors. J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2016 Oct; 20(4):283-91.
  12. Reimers LL, Mehta SD, Massad LS, Burk RD, Xie X, Ravel J, Cohen MH, Palefsky JM, Weber KM, Xue X, Anastos K, Minkoff H, Atrio J, D'Souza G, Ye Q, Colie C, Zolnik CP, Spear GT, Strickler HD. The Cervicovaginal Microbiota and Its Associations With Human Papillomavirus Detection in HIV-Infected and HIV-Uninfected Women. J Infect Dis. 2016 Nov 01; 214(9):1361-1369.
  13. Shiboski CH, Lee A, Chen H, Webster-Cyriaque J, Seaman T, Landovitz RJ, John M, Reilly N, Naini L, Palefsky J, Jacobson MA. Human papillomavirus infection in the oral cavity of HIV patients is not reduced by initiating antiretroviral therapy. AIDS. 2016 06 19; 30(10):1573-82.
  14. Hernandez AL, Karthik R, Sivasubramanian M, Raghavendran A, Gnanamony M, Lensing S, Lee JY, Kannangai R, Abraham P, Mathai D, Palefsky JM. Prevalence of Anal HPV Infection Among HIV-Positive Men Who Have Sex With Men in India. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2016 Apr 01; 71(4):437-43.
  15. Wang CC, Palefsky JM. Human papillomavirus-related oropharyngeal cancer in the HIV-infected population. Oral Dis. 2016 Apr; 22 Suppl 1:98-106.
  16. Brickman C, Palefsky JM. Cancer in the HIV-Infected Host: Epidemiology and Pathogenesis in the Antiretroviral Era. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep. 2015 Dec; 12(4):388-96.
  17. Massad LS, Xie X, Burk RD, D'Souza G, Darragh TM, Minkoff H, Colie C, Burian P, Palefsky J, Atrio J, Strickler HD. Association of cervical precancer with human papillomavirus types other than 16 among HIV co-infected women. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Mar; 214(3):354.e1-6.
  18. Lahiri CD, Dugan KB, Xie X, Reimers L, Burk RD, Anastos K, Massad LS, Eltoum IE, Xue X, D'Souza G, Flowers L, Palefsky JM, Rahangdale L, Strickler HD, Ofotokun I. Oral Lopinavir Use and Human Papillomavirus Infection in HIV-Positive Women. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2015 Oct 01; 70(2):e63-6.
  19. Bennetts LE, Wagner M, Giuliano AR, Palefsky JM, Steben M, Weiss TW. Associations of Anogenital Low-Risk Human Papillomavirus Infection With Cancer and Acquisition of HIV. Sex Transm Dis. 2015 Oct; 42(10):541-4.
  20. Ortiz AP, Marrero E, Muñoz C, Pérez CM, Tortolero-Luna G, Romaguera J, Rodríguez N, González-Falero A, Palefsky J, Suárez E. Methods in HPV Surveillance: Experiences from a Population-Based Study of HPV Infection among Women in the San Juan Metropolitan Area of Puerto Rico. P R Health Sci J. 2015 Sep; 34(3):117-27.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.