Adherence to colposcopy among women with HIV infection

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 1999 Nov 1;22(3):247-52. doi: 10.1097/00126334-199911010-00005.


In the general population, nonadherence to the recommendation to have colposcopy in women with abnormal cytologic smears is estimated at 30% to 80%, but studies have failed to identify consistent risk factors for nonadherence. The purpose of this analysis is to assess adherence to colposcopy in a subset of participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), an ongoing multisite longitudinal study of HIV infection in women in the United States and determine factors associated with nonadherence. Identification of such predictors would be useful in designing strategies to improve adherence in this group.

Methods: Adherence to colposcopy was examined in a cohort of 462 women with, or at risk for, HIV infection with abnormal cervical cytology on entry into WIHS. Adherence was defined as having colposcopy done within 6 months of an abnormal cytology result.

Results: Overall adherence to colposcopy was 65% (302 of 462). A multivariate logistic regression model revealed that the odds of adherence were significantly lower for the women who were HIV-infected (p = .011), current crack/cocaine users (p = .040), ever too ill to get medical care (p = .033), not recruited by WIHS study staff (p = .004), and less concerned about the care of their children (p = .037). Among HIV-seropositive women, low CD4 counts, high viral loads, and presence of AIDS-defining illness were not predictive of nonadherence.

Discussion: Adherence to colposcopy among WIHS participants was at the upper limit of the reported range in the United States. Chemical dependency and domestic violence may negatively impact on colposcopy adherence whereas supportive study personnel, having health insurance, and concerns about raising one's children appear to be motivators for adherence to colposcopy in this study. HIV infection was a risk factor for nonadherence, but markers of advanced disease were not predictive of nonadherence.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / complications
  • Cohort Studies
  • Colposcopy* / psychology
  • Domestic Violence
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / etiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control