Objectives Cervical cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related deaths among South African women. Viral types associated with cervical cancer may differ not only between countries and regions, but possibly also between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected and noninfected women.
Methods In a population with high HIV prevalence, human papillomavirus (HPV)–type infections detected with DNA analyses were reported in a cohort of 299 women diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer.
Results One hundred fifty-four women tested HIV negative, 77 tested HIV positive, and HIV status was unknown for 68 women. The mean age for HIV-positive women was 41.3 years, and that for HIV-negative women was 55.8 years (P < 0.001). Ninety-two percent of women tested HPV-DNA positive. Human papillomavirus types 16 and/or 18 were present in 62% of HIV-negative women and 65% of HIV-positive women. The 5 most common HPV types in HIV-positive women were, in decreasing frequency, HPV 16, 18, 45, 33, and 58. In HIV-negative women, the most common HPV types were HPV 16, 18, 35, and 45, followed by HPV 33 and 52. Human papillomavirus type 45 was more likely in the HIV positive compared with the HIV negative (odds ratio, 3.07; 95% confidence interval, 1.07–8.77). The HIV-positive women had more multiple high-risk HPV-type infections than did the HIV-negative women (27% vs 8%, P = 0.001).
Conclusions A high number of women in South Africa with cervical cancer are HIV positive. Without viral cross-protection, HPV vaccines should prevent around 65% of cervical cancers in this population. Human papillomavirus type 45 infection is significantly linked to HIV and important for future vaccine developments.
- Cervical cancer
- Human papillomavirus
- Human immunodeficiency virus
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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.