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Joel M. Palefsky


Director, Anal Neoplasia Clinic, Research and Education (ANCRE) Center
Infectious disease physician
Clinician, researcher, and fan of good literature and bagels

Dr. Joel Palefsky is an expert in infectious diseases and cancers associated with these diseases. He is an internationally recognized expert on the biology, treatment, progression and history of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections of the anus and genitals, particularly in the setting of HIV infection. He directs the UCSF Anal Neoplasia Clinic, Research and Education (ANCRE) Center, the world's first clinic devoted to anal cancer prevention.

Palefsky's research focuses on the biology and treatment of anal cancer. He is vice chair of the AIDS Malignancy Consortium, a research group supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that investigates new treatments for AIDS-related cancers, and chair of the Anal Cancer/HSIL Outcomes Research (ANCHOR) Study, a multisite NCI study examining whether treating anal cancer precursor lesions prevents the development of anal cancer and seeking to identify biomarkers of cancer progression.

Palefsky earned his medical degree at McGill University and completed a fellowship in infectious diseases at Stanford University.

Palefsky is founder and past president of the International Anal Neoplasia Society. He is also past president of the International Papillomavirus Society and founder and chairperson of its international campaign for HPV awareness.

  • Education

    McGill University, 1984

  • Residencies

    McGill University, Internal Medicine, 1984

  • Fellowships

    Stanford University, Infectious Disease, 1988

  • Board Certifications

    Infectious Disease, American Board of Internal Medicine

    Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine

  • Academic Title


  • Languages


A life helping others and contributing to our collective knowledge is a life well lived.

Where I see patients (1)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    100 Ratings
    About our process
    Oct 25, 2023
    Dr. Palefsky is wonderful! I am so fortunate to have him as my doctor!
    Sep 21, 2023
    Dr. Palefsky is great very attentive and personable.
    Aug 17, 2023
    DT Palefsky is the best doctor I've ever worked with. Thoughtful compassionate and collaborative.
    Jul 18, 2023
    Dr. Palefsky is always courteous patient and very thorough.
    Jul 18, 2023
    My first appointment with Dr Palefsky. He was kind and informative
    Jun 13, 2023
    I love Dr. Palefsky! He's an amazing doctor.
    May 23, 2023
    Doctor Palefsky and his team are the best I mean THE BEST. I have been under his care for at least 12 years. At the top of his field and compassion and generous.
    May 16, 2023
    Dr. Palefsky was was very friendly explained things thoroughly and listened carefully to what I had to say.
    Apr 13, 2023
    Dr. Palefsky is a humane and excellent doctor. I feel well cared for when I visit him.
    Apr 04, 2023
    Dr. Was fantastic very caring and offered explanations of what was being done allowed me to view on screen and amazing care !
    Apr 04, 2023
    Doc was beyond excellent
    Mar 18, 2023
    Dr. Palefsky didn't tell me what he was doing he just got to work. My former doctor used to say what was doing each step of the way.
    Feb 28, 2023
    Friendly and technical.
    Jan 13, 2023
    Dr. Palefsky is friendly knowledgeable and communication with him is very easy and direct.
    Nov 18, 2022
    Dr. Palefsky is a fantastic doctor!
    Nov 08, 2022
    Joel Palefsky is an extraordinary physician and human being I have been in his care for over 10 years.
    Oct 13, 2022
    Dr. Palefsky is knowledgeable friendly and calm. His demeanor greatly relieve the stress of the appointment and anoscope procedure.
    Oct 13, 2022
    Dr. Palefsky is a phenomenal clinician. His expertise and compassionate clinical care make dealing with a complex and stigmatizing condition much much easier than one could hope.
    Sep 23, 2022
    Dr Palefsky is a treasure. He is an expert in his field and I am the grateful recipient of his treatment and follow up care.
    Sep 23, 2022
    Love Doc. Palefsky.
    Sep 20, 2022
    There should be an "Excellent" rather than "Very Good" category for Dr. Palefsky. Simply the gold standard in his profession and I feel so privileged to have a physician of his standing as my doctor.
    Sep 20, 2022
    Thanks for the excellent care
    Aug 16, 2022
    Joel Palefsky is always extremely attentive thoughtful in his explanations of procedures and options and fun to talk to
    Jul 26, 2022
    Dr Palefsky is a great doctor. I'm very pleased with him.
    Jul 07, 2022
    Dr. Joel Palefsky is an absolutely wonderful doctor!
    May 05, 2022
    Dr Palefsky is a respected doctor. I feel gratitude for every minute with him.
    Decorative Caduceus

    Incidence of HIV Infection in Screening Indian Men Who Have Sex With Men

    The total number of participants with incident HIV divided by the total follow-up will be used to calculate the incidence per 100 person years. HIV status is determined by HIV rapid test and a confirmatory Western blot test.


    Decorative Caduceus

    Incidence of HPV Infection and HPV-Associated Disease in Screening Indian Men Who Have Sex With...

    The proportion of men with HPV 6, 11, 16, and/or 18-associated HGAIN will be calculated. HGAIN is determined by biopsy and HPV typing is based on concurrent DNA analysis of anal swabs.