Objectives: To confirm the risk factors for genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
Goal of this study: To investigate risk factors for HPV detection apart from the correlated risk factors for cervical neoplasia.
Study design: Cervical human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA was assessed in 357 cytologically normal women attending the University of New Mexico student health center. Cervical swab samples were obtained for HPV DNA detection and typing using a PCR-based DNA amplification system. Possible determinants of cervical HPV were examined including age, ethnicity, history of sexually transmitted disease, oral contraceptive use, smoking, age at first intercourse, lifetime number of sex partners, marital status, and history of pregnancy.
Results: A 44.3% overall prevalence of cervical HPV was observed. On univariate analysis, factors associated with increasing HPV prevalence included higher lifetime number of sex partners and single marital status. After adjustment for potential confounding variables, we found that HPV prevalence increased with higher lifetime number of sexual partners.
Conclusion: These findings, along with those from the companion reports in this issue of the journal, support the sexual route of transmission of the virus.