Cervical cancer incidence stratified by age in women with HIV compared with the general population in the United States, 2002-2016

AIDS. 2021 Sep 1;35(11):1851-1856. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000002962.


Objective: Recommendations for the age of initiating screening for cervical cancer in women with HIV (WWH) in the United States have not changed since 1995 when all women (regardless of immune status) were screened for cervical cancer from the age of onset of sexual activity, which often occurs in adolescence. By 2009, recognizing the lack of benefit as well as harms in screening young women, guidelines were revised to initiate cervical cancer screening for the general population at age 21 years. By comparing cervical cancer incidence in young WWH to that of the general population, we assessed the potential for increasing the recommended age of initiating cervical cancer screening in WWH.

Design: We compared age-specific invasive cervical cancer (ICC) rates among WWH to the general population in the United States HIV/AIDS Cancer Match Study.

Methods: We estimated standardized incidence ratios as the observed number of cervical cancer cases among WWH divided by the expected number, standardized to the general population by age, race/ethnicity, registry, and calendar year.

Results: ICC rates among WWH were elevated across all age groups between ages 25 and 54 years (SIR = 3.80; 95% CI 3.48--4.15) but there were zero cases among ages less than 25 years.

Conclusion: The absence of ICC among WWH less than 25 years supports initiating cervical cancer screening at age 21 years, rather than adolescence, to prevent cancers in WWH at ages with higher risk of ICC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Young Adult