Efficacy and safety of human papillomavirus vaccination in HIV-infected patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Sci Rep. 2021 Mar 2;11(1):4954. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-83727-7.


The prophylactic vaccines available to protect against infections by HPV are well tolerated and highly immunogenic. People with HIV have a higher risk of developing HPV infection and HPV-associated cancers due to a lower immune response, and due to viral interactions. We performed a systematic review of RCTs to assess HPV vaccines efficacy and safety on HIV-infected people compared to placebo or no intervention in terms of seroconversion, infections, neoplasms, adverse events, CD4+ T-cell count and HIV viral load. The vaccine-group showed a seroconversion rate close to 100% for each vaccine and a significantly higher level of antibodies against HPV vaccine types, as compared to the placebo group (MD = 4333.3, 95% CI 2701.4; 5965.1 GMT EL.U./ml for HPV type 16 and MD = 1408.8, 95% CI 414.8; 2394.7 GMT EL.U./ml for HPV type 18). There were also no differences in terms of severe adverse events (RR = 0.6, 95% CI 0.2; 1.6) and no severe adverse events (RR = 0.6, 95% CI 0.9; 1.2) between vaccine and placebo groups. Secondary outcomes, such as CD4 + T-cell count and HIV viral load, did not differ between groups (MD = 14.8, 95% CI - 35.1; 64.6 cells/µl and MD = 0.0, 95% CI - 0.3; 0.3 log10 RNA copies/ml, respectively). Information on the remaining outcomes was scarce and that did not allow us to combine the data. The results support the use of the HPV vaccine in HIV-infected patients and highlight the need of further RCTs assessing the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine on infections and neoplasms.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / immunology*
  • Patient Safety*
  • Public Health
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Viral Load
  • Virus Shedding
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines