Albert Einstein Cancer Center

Risk factors for cervical precancer and cancer in HIV-infected, HPV-positive Rwandan women

Although cervical cancer is an AIDS-defining condition, infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may only modestly increase the risk of cervical cancer. There is a paucity of information regarding factors that influence the natural history of human papillomavirus (HPV) in HIV-infected women. AECC investigators Anastos, Burk and colleagues examined factors associated with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 or cancer (CIN3+) in Rwandan women infected with both HIV and HPV (HIV+/HPV+). In 2005, 710 HIV+ Rwandan women >/=25 years enrolled in an observational cohort study; 476 (67%) tested HPV+. Each woman provided sociodemographic data, CD4 count, a cervical cytology specimen and cervicovaginal lavage (CVL), which was tested for >40 HPV genotypes by MY09/MY11 PCR assay. Of the 476 HIV+/HPV+ women 42 (8.8%) were diagnosed with CIN3+. Factors associated with CIN3+ included >/=7 (vs. 0-2) pregnancies, malarial infection in the previous six months (vs. never), and >/=7 (vs. 0-2) lifetime sexual partners. Compared to women infected by non-HPV16 carcinogenic HPV genotypes, HPV16 infection was positively associated and non-carcinogenic HPV infection was inversely associated with CIN3+. CD4 count was significantly associated with CIN3+ only in analyses of women with non-HPV16 carcinogenic HPV (OR = 0.62 per 100 cells/mm(3), CI = 0.40-0.97). Hence, in this HIV+/HPV+ population, lower CD4 was significantly associated with CIN3+ only in women infected with carcinogenic non-HPV16. A trend for higher risk of CIN3+ in HIV+ women reporting recent malarial infection was identified with the suggestion that this association should be investigated in a larger group of HIV+/HPV+ women. 

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