Comparative prevalence, incidence and short-term prognosis of cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions amongst HIV-positive and HIV-negative women

AIDS. 1998 Jun 18;12(9):1047-56.


Objective: To investigate the impact of HIV infection on the prevalence, incidence and short-term prognosis of squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL), in a prospective study with 1-year follow-up.

Methods: Between 1993 and 1995, 271 HIV-positive and 171 HIV-negative women at high risk of HIV infection were recruited, 365 (82.6%) of whom completed the 1-year follow-up. The women underwent a Papanicolaou smear test at inclusion and at 6 and 12 months. Human papillomavirus (HPV) was detected at inclusion by Southern blot and PCR.

Results: The SIL prevalence ranged from 7.5% for HIV-negative to 31.3% for HIV-positive women with CD4 cell counts < 500 x 10(6)/l (P < 0.001). Other factors associated independently and significantly with SIL prevalence were HPV-16, 18, 33 and related types, HPV-31, -35, -39 and related types, lifetime number of partners, younger age, past history of SIL and lack of past cervical screening. The SIL incidence ranged from 4.9% in HIV-negative women to 27% in HIV-positive women with CD4 cells < 500 x 10(6)/l (P < 0.001). Progression from low- to high-grade SIL during follow-up was detected in 38.1% of HIV-positive women with CD4 cells < or = 500 x 10(6)/l but in no HIV-negative nor HIV-positive women with CD4 cells > 500 x 10(6)/l. HPV-16, 18, 33 and related types were also associated with higher incidence of SIL and progression from low- to high-grade SIL.

Conclusion: HIV-induced immunodeficiency is associated with high prevalence, incidence and persistence/progression of SIL. A pejorative influence of HIV infection without marked immunodeficiency is less clear. HIV-positive women with SIL may thus benefit from early treatment when a useful immune response is still present.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / complications*
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / complications*
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / epidemiology*