The prevalence of human papillomavirus infection in Mombasa, Kenya

Cancer Causes Control. 2010 Dec;21(12):2309-13. doi: 10.1007/s10552-010-9645-z. Epub 2010 Oct 12.


Objectives: A human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence survey was done in Mombasa, Kenya, to improve the knowledge of HPV prevalence and genotype distribution in sub-Saharan African countries overall, and in women of different ages.

Methods: HPV prevalence was assessed using PCR in women older than 15 years attending family planning and mother-child care services.

Results: Among 496 women, HPV prevalence was high (42.3%; 95% CI: 37.9-46.8; world age-standardized). Moreover, 46% of HPV-positive women harbored multiple-type infections. The most common types were HPV58 (10.5% of women), HPV16 (7.7%), HPV53 (6.7%), HPV18 (4.6%), and HPV6 (4.4%), and the prevalence of any high-risk HPV type was 28.8%. HPV prevalence was elevated among all age-groups (range 36.4-45.7%). Independent associations with HPV positivity were found for being in a polygamous marriage (OR = 1.7) and lifetime number of sexual partners (OR for ≥ 3 vs. 1 = 1.5), although they were of only borderline statistical significance.

Conclusions: These findings differ from other world regions, showing a high HPV burden in all age-groups with a high proportion of multiple-type infections. Our data strengthen the urgency of HPV vaccination in Kenya but also highlight the elevated number of women who would have positive results in an HPV-based screening program in the country.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alphapapillomavirus / physiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / virology
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / epidemiology
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / genetics
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / virology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / genetics
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Prevalence
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / genetics
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology
  • Vaginal Smears
  • Young Adult