Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Infectious Diseases and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Association of HIV infection with distribution and viral load of HPV types in Kenya: a survey with 820 female sex workers

Stanley MF Luchters12, Davy Vanden Broeck12, Matthew F Chersich23*, Annalene Nel4, Wim Delva28, Kishor Mandaliya5, Christophe E Depuydt67, Patricia Claeys2, John-Paul Bogers67 and Marleen Temmerman2

Author Affiliations

1 International Centre for Reproductive Health (ICRH), Mombasa, Kenya

2 International Centre for Reproductive Health (ICRH), Ghent University, Belgium

3 Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit (RHRU), University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

4 International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), Paarl, South Africa

5 Coast Provincial General Hospital (CPGH), Mombasa, Kenya

6 Applied Molecular Biology Research (AMBIOR), University of Antwerp, Belgium

7 Laboratory for clinical pathology (Labo Lokeren - Campus Riatol), Antwerp, Belgium

8 South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Infectious Diseases 2010, 10:18  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-18

Published: 26 January 2010

Abstract

Background

Human papillomavirus (HPV) and HIV are each responsible for a considerable burden of disease. Interactions between these infections pose substantial public health challenges, especially where HIV prevalence is high and HPV vaccine coverage low.

Methods

Between July 2005 and January 2006, a cross-sectional community-based survey in Mombasa, Kenya, enrolled female sex workers using snowball sampling. After interview and a gynaecological examination, blood and cervical cytology samples were taken. Quantitative real-time PCR detected HPV types and viral load measures. Prevalence of high-risk HPV was compared between HIV-infected and -uninfected women, and in women with abnormal cervical cytology, measured using conventional Pap smears.

Results

Median age of the 820 participants was 28 years (inter-quartile range [IQR] = 24-36 years). One third of women were HIV infected (283/803; 35.2%) and these women were y more likely to have abnormal cervical cytology than HIV-negative women (27%, 73/269, versus 8%, 42/503; P < 0.001). Of HIV-infected women, 73.3% had high-risk HPV (200/273) and 35.5% had HPV 16 and/or 18 (97/273). Corresponding figures for HIV-negative women were 45.5% (229/503) and 15.7% (79/503). After adjusting for age, number of children and condom use, high-risk HPV was 3.6 fold more common in HIV-infected women (95%CI = 2.6-5.1). Prevalence of all 15 of the high-risk HPV types measured was higher among HIV-infected women, between 1.4 and 5.5 fold. Median total HPV viral load was 881 copies/cell in HIV-infected women (IQR = 33-12,110 copies/cell) and 48 copies/cell in HIV-uninfected women (IQR = 6-756 copies/cell; P < 0.001). HPV 16 and/or HPV 18 were identified in 42.7% of LSIL (32/75) and 42.3% of HSIL (11/26) lesions (P = 0.98). High-risk HPV types other than 16 and 18 were common in LSIL (74.7%; 56/75) and HSIL (84.6%; 22/26); even higher among HIV-infected women.

Conclusions

HIV-infected sex workers had almost four-fold higher prevalence of high-risk HPV, raised viral load and more precancerous lesions. HPV 16 and HPV 18, preventable with current vaccines, were associated with cervical disease, though other high-risk types were commoner. HIV-infected sex workers likely contribute disproportionately to HPV transmission dynamics in the general population. Current efforts to prevent HIV and HPV are inadequate. New interventions are required and improved implementation of existing strategies.