Incidence and progression of cervical lesions in women with HIV: a systematic global review

Int J STD AIDS. 2014 Mar;25(3):163-77. doi: 10.1177/0956462413491735. Epub 2013 Aug 29.


Global data on cervical lesion incidence and progression in HIV-positive women are essential for understanding the natural history of cervical neoplasia and informing screening policy. A systematic review was performed summarizing the incidence and progression of cervical lesions in HIV-positive women. Of 5882 HIV-positive women from 15 studies, incidence ranged from 4.9 to 21.1 cases per 100 woman-years for any cervical lesion and 0.4 to 8.8 cases per 100 woman-years for high-grade cervical lesions. HIV-positive women showed a median three-fold higher incidence of cervical lesions compared to HIV-negative women. Of 1099 HIV-positive women from 11 studies, progression from low- to high-grade lesions ranged from 1.2 to 26.2 cases per 100 woman-years. Both incidence and progression rates increased with lower CD4 counts. The effect of antiretroviral therapy on the natural history of cervical neoplasia remains unclear. HIV-positive women have higher incidence and progression of cervical neoplasia. Cervical cancer screening should be integrated into HIV treatment programmes.

Keywords: AIDS; CIN; HIV; SIL; cervical cancer; cervical lesions; incidence; progression; review; screening; squamous epithelial lesions; women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Disease Progression*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Precancerous Conditions / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / complications
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / epidemiology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / complications
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology*


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents