Human papillomavirus is the principal risk factor associated with cervical cancer, the most common malignancy among women in Colombia. We conducted a survey, aiming to report type specific prevalence and determinants of human papillomavirus infection in women with normal cytology. A total of 1859 women from Bogota, Colombia were interviewed and tested for human papillomavirus using a general primer GP5+/GP6+ mediated PCR-EIA. The overall HPV DNA prevalence was 14.8%; 9% of the women were infected by high risk types, 3.1% by low risk types, 2.3% by both high risk/low risk types and 0.4% by uncharacterized types (human papillomavirus X). Thirty-two different human papillomavirus types were detected, being human papillomavirus 16, 58, 56, 81(CP8304) and 18 the most common types. The human papillomavirus prevalence was 26.1% among women younger than 20 years, 2.3% in women aged 45-54 years, and 13.2% in women aged 55 years or more. For low risk types the highest peak of prevalence was observed in women aged 55 years or more. Compared to women aged 35-44 years, women aged less than 20 years had a 10-fold increased risk of having multiple infections. Besides age, there was a positive association between the risk of human papillomavirus infection and number of regular sexual partners and oral contraceptive use. In women aged below 25 years, high educational level and having had casual sexual partners predicted infection risk. In conclusion, there was a broad diversity of human papillomavirus infections with high risk types being the most common types detected. In this population multiplicity of sexual partners and, among young women, high educational level and casual sexual partners seem to determine risk.
Copyright 2002 Cancer Research UK