Background: Cervical cancer, a human papillomavirus (HPV)-caused neoplasia, is highly prevalent in Mexico.
Goal: To determine the prevalence of HPV infection in female sex workers (FSW) from Mexico City and to assess the association between HPV infection and the characteristics of these women.
Study design: A questionnaire was applied to 495 FSW. Cervical cell specimens were obtained for DNA amplification and hybridization to detect 27 HPV types. A risk factor analysis was performed.
Results: The overall prevalence of HPV infection was 48.9%. The prevalence of high-risk HPV types was 43%, whereas that of low-risk types was 24.6%. A total of 18.8% of study participants was infected with both high-risk and low-risk HPV types, and 28.5% were infected with two or more HPV types. Younger age and failure to use a condom were independently associated HPV risks (odds ratio, 7.3 and 2.3; 95% CI, 3.5-15.0 and 1.2-4.4, respectively).
Conclusions: Infection with high-risk and multiple HPV types is high among Mexican FSW. This study corroborated a higher infection rate in younger women. A higher risk of HPV infection is also observed in women who have been involved with sex work for less than 1 year. However, condom use showed a protective effect against HPV infection.