Determinants of genital human papillomavirus detection in a US population

J Infect Dis. 2001 Jun 1;183(11):1554-64. doi: 10.1086/320696. Epub 2001 May 9.


This study investigated the association of selected demographic and behavioral characteristics with the detection of low-risk, high-risk, and uncharacterized genital human papillomavirus (HPV) in women attending clinic for routine nonreferral gynecologic health care. Cervical specimens obtained from 3863 women 18-40 years old (mean, 28 years) with no history of high-grade cervical disease were analyzed for 38 HPV types. Overall, HPV prevalence was 39.2%. The prevalence of high-risk, low-risk, and uncharacterized HPV types was 26.7%, 14.7%, and 13.0%, respectively. As expected, the characteristics most strongly associated with overall HPV detection were age and numbers of lifetime and recent sex partners. Low-risk, high-risk, and uncharacterized HPV detection increased with increasing numbers of sex partners. There was a decline in high-risk and low-risk HPV detection with increasing age but little change in uncharacterized HPV detection. These results suggest that the uncharacterized HPV types have a different natural history than either low-risk or high-risk HPV types.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cervix Uteri / virology
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / epidemiology*
  • Genital Diseases, Female / virology
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Odds Ratio
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Tumor Virus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / virology
  • United States / epidemiology


  • DNA, Viral