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Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) is a non-AIDS-defining cancer with a good response to chemotherapy in the combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) era. The aim of the present study was to compare the characteristics, the response to treatment and the survival of advanced-stage cHL treated with adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblastine and dacarbazine (ABVD) between cART-treated HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients.We retrospectively analyzed advanced-stage cHL patients from a single institution, uniformly treated with ABVD. All HIV-positive patients received cART concomitantly with ABVD.A total of 69 patients were included in the study: 21 were HIV-positive and 48 were HIV-negative. HIV-positive patients had more aggressive features at cHL diagnosis, such as worse performance status, more frequent bone marrow involvement and mixed cellularity histologic subtype. There were no differences in complete response rate (89% in HIV-positive vs. 91% in HIV-negative), P = 1; disease-free survival (DFS) [10-year DFS probability (95% CI) 70% (41–99%) vs. 74% (57–91%)], P = 0.907 and overall survival (OS) [10-year OS probability (95% CI) 73% (52–94%) vs. 68% (51–85%)], P = 0.904. On multivariate analysis, HIV infection did not correlate with worse OS.Although HIV-positive patients with cHL had more aggressive baseline features in this series, there were no differences in response rate or survival between HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients.