Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Oncogenic HPV among HIV infected female population in West Bengal, India

Kamalesh Sarkar1*, Reshmi Pal1, Baishali Bal1, Bibhuti Saha2, Subhasish Bhattacharya3, Sharmila Sengupta4, Partha Pratim Mazumdar4 and Shekhar Chakraborti5

Author Affiliations

1 Division of epidemiology, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, P -33, CIT Road Scheme XM, Kolkata, 700010, India

2 School of Tropical Medicine, 108 C.R. Avenue, Kolkata, 700073, India

3 Calcutta Medical College, 110 C.R. Avenue, Kolkata, 700073, India

4 Department of Human Genetics, Indian Statistical Institute, 203 Barrackpore Trunk Road, Kolkata, 700108, India

5 Division of Virology, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, P -33, CIT Road Scheme XM, Kolkata, 700010, India

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:72  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-72

Published: 22 March 2011



Prevalence of both cervical cancer and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection are very high in India. Natural history of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection is known to be altered in HIV positive women and there is an increased possibility of persistence of HPV infections in this population. Therefore, this study was conducted to understand the epidemiology and circulating genotypes of oncogenic HPV among HIV positive and negative female population in West Bengal, India.


In this hospital-based cross-sectional study, 93 known HIV positive females attending a pre-ART registration clinic and 1106 HIV negative females attending a Reproductive and Child Health Care Clinic were subjected to study. Cervical cell samples collected from the study population were tested for the presence of HPV 16, 18 using specific primers. Roche PCR assay was used to detect other specific HPV genotypes in the cervical cells specimens of HIV positive cases only.


Prevalence of HPV 16, 18 among HIV positive females (32.2%; n = 30) was higher than HIV negative females (9.1%; n = 101). About 53% (23/43) of cases with oncogenic HPV were infected with genotypes other than 16, 18 either as single/multiple infections. HPV 18 and HPV 16 were the predominant genotypes among HIV positive and HIV negative subjects respectively. Oncogenic HPV was not found to be associated with age and duration of sexual exposure. But the presence of HIV was found to a statistically significant predictor oncogenic HPV.


The currently available HPV vaccines offer protection only against HPV 16 and 18 and some cross- protection to few associated genotypes. These vaccines are therefore less likely to offer protection against cervical cancer in HIV positive women a high percentage of who were infected with non-16 and non-18 oncogenic HPV genotypes. Additionally, there is a lack of sufficient evidence of immunogenicity in HIV infected individuals. Therefore, prevention of cervical cancer in HIV positive women must be focused towards early detection of oncogenic HPV & cervical cytological abnormality followed by an appropriate treatment.