Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is associated with precancerous cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions commonly seen among women infected with human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV). We characterized HPV infection in a large cohort of HIV-positive and HIV-negative women participating in the Women's Interagency HIV Study to determine the prevalence of and risk factors for cervicovaginal HPV infection in HIV-positive women.
Methods: HIV-positive (n = 1778) and HIV-negative (n = 500) women were tested at enrollment for the presence of HPV DNA in a cervicovaginal lavage specimen. Blood samples were tested for HIV antibody status, level of CD4-positive T cells, and HIV RNA load (copies/mL). An interview detailing risk factors was conducted. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed.
Results: Compared with HIV-negative women, HIV-positive women with a CD4+ cell count of less than 200/mm3 were at the highest risk of HPV infection, regardless of HIV RNA load (odds ratio [OR] = 10.13; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 7.32-14.04), followed by women with a CD4+ count greater than 200/mm3 and an HIV RNA load greater than 20,000 copies/mL (OR = 5.78; 95% CI = 4.17-8.08) and women with a CD4+ count greater than 200/mm3 and an HIV RNA load less than 20,000 copies/mL (OR = 3.12; 95% CI = 2.36-4.12), after adjustment for other factors. Other risk factors among HIV-positive women included racial/ethnic background (African-American versus Caucasian, OR = 1.64; 95% CI = 1.19-2.28), current smoking (yes versus no; OR = 1.55; 95% CI = 1.20-1.99), and younger age (age < 30 years versus > or = 40 years; OR = 1.75; 95% CI = 1.23-2.49).
Conclusions: Although the strongest risk factors of HPV infection among HIV-positive women were indicators of more advanced HIV-related disease, other factors commonly found in studies of HIV-negative women, including racial/ethnic background, current smoking, and age, were important in HIV-positive women as well.