Cervical human papillomavirus infection in the female population in Barcelona, Spain

Sex Transm Dis. 2003 Oct;30(10):788-93. doi: 10.1097/01.OLQ.0000080177.82204.E0.


Background and objective: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a major cause of invasive cervical cancer. Identification of HPV determinants might allow for targeting of high-risk groups for cervical cancer.

Goal: The goal was to estimate the HPV prevalence and its determinants among women from the general population of Barcelona.

Study design: We studied a random sample of female residents in metropolitan Barcelona, Spain (n = 973). Information was obtained through personal interviews and laboratory testing of cervical exfoliated cells. HPV was detected using a GP5+/6+ polymerase chain reaction assay.

Results: The average age of participants was 43 years (standard deviation = 16.1 y) and the percentage of lifetime monogamy was 79%. The age-adjusted HPV prevalence was 3.0%. Independent HPV determinants were being born overseas (odds ratio [OR], 8.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.9-33.5), being divorced (OR, 6.7; 95% CI, 1.9-24.3), reporting more than one sexual partner (OR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.0-6.5), and smoking marijuana and related products (OR, 5.2; 95% CI, 1.2-21.7). Use of condoms with regular partner was protective (OR, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.02-1.0).

Conclusion: The study confirms a low overall HPV prevalence in a largely monogamous population. The protection observed with condom use needs further evaluation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Censuses
  • Cervix Uteri / virology
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / etiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prevalence
  • Random Allocation
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Tumor Virus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / etiology
  • Urban Health
  • Women's Health


  • DNA, Viral