Objective: The prevalence of cervical cancer and high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) in Nigerian women remains poorly studied. Our objective was to estimate the prevalence of high-risk HPV and associated squamous intraepithelial lesions (SILs) in Nigeria.
Methods: After institutional review board approval, data collection was performed by volunteers of FaithCare, Inc, between 2004 and 2008 in 3 regions of Nigeria (Okene, Katari, and Abuja). Demographic data and ThinPrep Pap smears (Cytyc, Marlborough, MA) were collected from 410 women. Pap smears were analyzed for both the presence of SIL and HPV DNA.
Results: The prevalence of high-risk HPV and SIL was 15.6% and 6.8%, respectively. Of the 28 abnormal Pap tests, 42.9% had atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance, 39.3% had low-grade SIL, 14.3% had high-grade SIL, and 3.6% had atypical glandular cells. There was a strong association between high-risk HPV and SIL in both the combined (p < .001) and individual group data (p < .001, p = .013, and p < .001 for Okene, Abuja, and Katari, respectively). However, there were no statistically significant correlations between either high-risk HPV or presence of SIL and known risk factors including age, history of sexually transmitted disease, and the number of sexual partners. There was also no statistical difference in the prevalence of high-risk HPV and SIL among the 3 locations.
Conclusions: A strong association exists between high-risk HPV and SIL. The prevalence of cervical high-risk HPV and SIL, however, did not vary in the 3 different locations and is consistent with reports from other regions in Africa.