Cervical cancer is the second most frequent cancer in women in French Guiana. Studies have shown that populations living in the remote areas of the interior have early sexual debut and that multiple sexual partnerships are common. The objective of the present study was thus to determine the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in these areas. A study was conducted in women aged 20-65 years with previous sexual activity. Women were included on a voluntary basis after using local media and leaders to inform them of the visit of the team. HPV infection was defined by the detection of HPV DNA using the Greiner Bio-One kit. In addition to HPV testing cytology was performed. The overall age-standardized prevalence rate was 35%. There was a U-shaped evolution of HPV prevalence by age with women aged >50 years at highest risk for HPV, followed by the 20-29 years group. Twenty-seven percent of women with a positive HPV test had normal cytology. Given the high incidence of cervical cancer in French Guiana and the high prevalence of HPV infections the present results re-emphasize the need for screening for cervical cancer in these remote areas. Vaccination against HPV, preferably with a nonavalent vaccine, also seems an important prevention measure. However, in this region where a large portion of the population has no health insurance, this still represents a challenge.
Keywords: Epidemiology; French Guiana; HPV; prevalence.