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1.  Sex-Specific Immunization for Sexually Transmitted Infections Such as Human Papillomavirus: Insights from Mathematical Models 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(12):e1001147.
Johannes Bogaards and colleagues use mathematical models to investigate whether vaccinating females only, males only, or both sexes is the best way to achieve the most effective reduction in the population prevalence of sexually-transmitted infections
Background
Sex-specific differences regarding the transmissibility and the course of infection are the rule rather than the exception in the epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Human papillomavirus (HPV) provides an example: disease outcomes differ between men and women, as does the potential for transmission to the opposite sex. HPV vaccination of preadolescent girls was recently introduced in many countries, and inclusion of boys in the vaccination programs is being discussed. Here, we address the question of whether vaccinating females only, males only, or both sexes is the most effective strategy to reduce the population prevalence of an STI like HPV.
Methods and Findings
We use a range of two-sex transmission models with varying detail to identify general criteria for allocating a prophylactic vaccine between both sexes. The most effective reduction in the population prevalence of infection is always achieved by single-sex vaccination; vaccinating the sex with the highest prevaccine prevalence is the preferred strategy in most circumstances. Exceptions arise only when the higher prevaccine prevalence is due to a substantially lower rate of natural immunity, or when natural immunity is lifelong, and a prolonged duration of infectiousness coincides with increased transmissibility. Predictions from simple models were confirmed in simulations based on an elaborate HPV transmission model. Our analysis suggests that relatively inefficient genital transmission from males to females might render male vaccination more effective in reducing overall infection levels. However, most existing HPV vaccination programs have achieved sufficient coverage to continue with female-only vaccination.
Conclusions
Increasing vaccine uptake among preadolescent girls is more effective in reducing HPV infection than including boys in existing vaccination programs. As a rule, directing prophylactic immunization at the sex with the highest prevaccine prevalence results in the largest reduction of the population prevalence.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
About 10% of cancers in women occur in the cervix, the structure that connects the womb to the vagina. Every year, more than a quarter of a million women (85% of them in developing countries) die because of cervical cancer, which only occurs after the cervix has been infected with a human papillomavirus (HPV) through sexual intercourse (HPV is one of more than thirty sexually transmissable organisms that, globally, cause many millions of sexually transmitted infections every year). There are many types of HPV, a virus that infects the skin and the mucosa (the moist membranes that line various parts of the body, including the cervix). Most people become infected with HPV at some time during their life, but most never know they have been infected. Some HPV types cause harmless warts on the skin or around the genital area, and several—in particular HPV16 and HPV18, so-called high-risk HPVs—can cause cervical cancer (and some other cancers, including anal, penile, head, and neck cancers). HPV infections are usually cleared by the immune system, but about 10% of women infected with a high-risk HPV develop a long-term infection that puts them at risk of developing cervical cancer.
Why Was This Study Done?
Screening programs have greatly reduced cervical cancer deaths in developed countries by detecting the cancer early, when it can be treated. However, it would be better to prevent cervical cancer ever developing. Moreover, most women in developing countries do not have access to screening. Because infection with specific HPV types can cause the development of some types of cervical cancer, vaccination of girls against HPV before the onset of sexual activity might be one way to prevent cervical cancer. Scientists recently developed a vaccine that prevents infection with HPV16 and HPV18, and HPV vaccination programs have been introduced in several countries. These programs are currently directed only at girls because HPV-related illness and death are higher among women than men, but should boys also be included in HPV vaccination programs? Men would benefit directly from immunization against HPV-related diseases, but, in addition, vaccination of boys might help to reduce the circulation of HPV in the population, thereby indirectly improving the protection of women through so-called “herd immunity.” In this study, the researchers used mathematical models to investigate whether vaccinating girls only, boys only, or both sexes is the most effective way to reduce the population prevalence of HPV infection (the proportion of the population infected with HPV).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers first used a range of standard two-sex mathematical models of infection and transmission in heterosexual populations to identify general criteria for allocating an HPV vaccine between the sexes. They found that the most effective reduction in the population prevalence of HPV infection was always achieved by single-sex vaccination and that, in most situations, the preferred strategy was to vaccinate the sex with the highest prevaccine prevalence of HPV infection. The researchers confirmed these predictions using a more elaborate HPV transmission model that incorporated differences among individuals in age and level of sexual activity. Importantly, this second analysis also suggested that for existing girl-only vaccination programs, increasing coverage of vaccination among girls would bolster herd immunity more effectively than switching to a policy of vaccinating both sexes.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The findings of this study suggest that increasing vaccine uptake among preadolescent girls is a more effective way to reduce HPV infection than including boys in existing vaccination programs. They also suggest that directing HPV vaccination at the sex with the highest prevaccine prevalence of infection will reduce the population prevalence of HPV most effectively. Although the accuracy of these findings is dependent on the assumptions included in the mathematical transmission models used by the researchers, these findings support a policy of increasing female HPV vaccine coverage as far as possible, within the limits set by vaccine acceptance and economic constraints. More generally, these findings suggest that single-sex preventative interventions might be the best way to reduce heterosexual transmission of other sexually transmitted infections and that targeting the sex with the highest prevalence of infection might achieve the most effective reduction in the population prevalence of these common diseases.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001147.
The US National Cancer Institute provides information about cervical cancer for patients and for health professionals, including information on HPV vaccines (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has information about cervical cancer and HPV
The UK National Health Service Choices website has pages on cervical cancer and HPV vaccination (available in several languages and including a short video of girls talking about HPV vaccination)
The PREHDICT project investigates health-economic modeling of prevention strategies for HPV-related diseases in European countries; information about this project is available from the European Cervical Cancer Association
More information about cervical cancer and HPV vaccination is available from Macmillan Cancer Support
Personal stories about cervical cancer are available through the charity Healthtalkonline
MedlinePlus provides links to additional resources about cervical cancer and other sexually transmitted infections (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001147
PMCID: PMC3243713  PMID: 22205887
2.  Bacterial Vaginosis Associated with Increased Risk of Female-to-Male HIV-1 Transmission: A Prospective Cohort Analysis among African Couples 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(6):e1001251.
In a prospective study, Craig Cohen and colleagues investigate the association between bacterial vaginosis and the risk of female-to-male HIV-1 transmission.
Background
Bacterial vaginosis (BV), a disruption of the normal vaginal flora, has been associated with a 60% increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition in women and higher concentration of HIV-1 RNA in the genital tract of HIV-1–infected women. However, whether BV, which is present in up to half of African HIV-1–infected women, is associated with an increase in HIV-1 transmission to male partners has not been assessed in previous studies.
Methods and Findings
We assessed the association between BV on female-to-male HIV-1 transmission risk in a prospective study of 2,236 HIV-1–seropositive women and their HIV-1 uninfected male partners from seven African countries from a randomized placebo-controlled trial that enrolled heterosexual African adults who were seropositive for both HIV-1 and herpes simplex virus (HSV)-2, and their HIV-1–seronegative partners. Participants were followed for up to 24 months; every three months, vaginal swabs were obtained from female partners for Gram stain and male partners were tested for HIV-1. BV and normal vaginal flora were defined as a Nugent score of 7–10 and 0–3, respectively. To reduce misclassification, HIV-1 sequence analysis of viruses from seroconverters and their partners was performed to determine linkage of HIV-1 transmissions. Overall, 50 incident HIV-1 infections occurred in men in which the HIV-1–infected female partner had an evaluable vaginal Gram stain. HIV-1 incidence in men whose HIV-1–infected female partners had BV was 2.91 versus 0.76 per 100 person-years in men whose female partners had normal vaginal flora (hazard ratio 3.62, 95% CI 1.74–7.52). After controlling for sociodemographic factors, sexual behavior, male circumcision, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, and plasma HIV-1 RNA levels in female partners, BV was associated with a greater than 3-fold increased risk of female-to-male HIV-1 transmission (adjusted hazard ratio 3.17, 95% CI 1.37–7.33).
Conclusions
This study identified an association between BV and increased risk of HIV-1 transmission to male partners. Several limitations may affect the generalizability of our results including: all participants underwent couples HIV counseling and testing and enrolled in an HIV-1 prevention trial, and index participants had a baseline CD4 count ≥250 cells/mm3 and were HSV-2 seropositive. Given the high prevalence of BV and the association of BV with increased risk of both female HIV-1 acquisition and transmission found in our study, if this association proves to be causal, BV could be responsible for a substantial proportion of new HIV-1 infections in Africa. Normalization of vaginal flora in HIV-1–infected women could mitigate female-to-male HIV-1 transmission.
Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.com NCT00194519
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Since the first reported case of AIDS in 1981, the number of people infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has risen steadily. By the end of 2010, 34 million people were living with HIV/AIDS. At the beginning of the epidemic more men than women were infected with HIV. Now, however, 50% of all adults infected with HIV are women and in sub-Saharan Africa, where two-thirds of HIV-positive people live, women account for 59% of people living with HIV. Moreover, among 15–24 year-olds, women are eight times more likely than men to be HIV-positive. This pattern of infection has developed because most people in sub-Saharan Africa contract HIV through unprotected heterosexual sex. The risk of HIV transmission for both men and women in Africa and elsewhere can be reduced by abstaining from sex, by only having one or a few partners, by always using condoms, and by male circumcision. In addition, several studies suggest that antiretroviral therapy (ART) greatly reduces HIV transmission.
Why Was This Study Done?
Unfortunately, in sub-Saharan Africa, only about a fifth of HIV-positive people are currently receiving ART, which means that there is an urgent need to find other effective ways to reduce HIV transmission in this region. In this prospective cohort study (a type of study that follows a group of people for some time to see which personal characteristics are associated with disease development), the researchers investigate whether bacterial vaginosis—a condition in which harmful bacteria disrupt the normal vaginal flora—increases the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission among African couples. Bacterial vaginosis, which is extremely common in sub-Saharan Africa, has been associated with an increased risk of HIV acquisition in women and induces viral replication and shedding in the vagina in HIV-positive women, which may mean that HIV-positive women with bacterial vaginosis are more likely to transmit HIV to their male partners than women without this condition. If this is the case, then interventions that reduce the incidence of bacterial vaginosis might be valuable HIV prevention strategies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers analyzed data collected from 2,236 heterosexual African couples enrolled in a clinical trial (the Partners in Prevention HSV/HIV Transmission Study) whose primary aim was to investigate whether suppression of herpes simplex virus infection could prevent HIV transmission. In all the couples, the woman was HIV-positive and the man was initially HIV-negative. The female partners were examined every three months for the presence of bacterial vaginosis and the male partners were tested regularly for HIV infection. The researchers also determined whether the men who became HIV-positive were infected with the same HIV strain as their partner to check that their infection had been acquired from this partner. The HIV incidence in men whose partners had bacterial vaginosis was 2.9 per 100 person-years (that is, 2.9 out of every 100 men became HIV-positive per year) whereas the HIV incidence in men whose partners had a normal vaginal flora was 0.76 per 100 person-years. After controlling for factors that might affect the risk of HIV transmission such as male circumcision and viral levels in female partner's blood, the researchers estimated that bacterial vaginosis was associated with a 3.17-fold increased risk of female-to-male HIV transmission in their study population.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that HIV-positive African women with bacterial vaginosis are more than three times as likely to transmit HIV to their male partners as those with a normal vaginal flora. It is possible that some unknown characteristic of the men in this study might have increased both their own risk of HIV infection and their partner's risk of bacterial vaginosis. Nevertheless, because bacterial vaginosis is so common in Africa (half of the women in this study had bacterial vaginosis at least once during follow-up) and because this condition is associated with both female HIV acquisition and transmission, these findings suggest that bacterial vaginosis could be responsible for a substantial proportion of new HIV infections in Africa. Normalization of vaginal flora in HIV-infected women by frequent presumptive treatment with antimicrobials (treatment with a curative dose of antibiotics without testing for bacterial vaginosis) or possibly by treatment with probiotics (live “good” bacteria) might, therefore, reduce female-to-male HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001251.
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and infectious diseases on all aspects of HIV infection and AIDS and on bacterial vaginosis
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS, including specific information about HIV/AIDS and women; it also has information on bacterial vaginosis (in English and Spanish)
NAM/aidsmap provides basic information about HIV/AIDS, and summaries of recent research findings on HIV care and treatment, and information on bacterial vaginosis and HIV transmission (in several languages)
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS nonprofit group on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including detailed information on HIV and AIDS prevention, on women, HIV and AIDS and on HIV/AIDS in Africa (in English and Spanish); personal stories of women living with HIV are available; the website Healthtalkonline also provides personal stories about living with HIV
More information about the Partners in Prevention HSV/HIV Transmission Study is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001251
PMCID: PMC3383741  PMID: 22745608
3.  A Population-Based Evaluation of a Publicly Funded, School-Based HPV Vaccine Program in British Columbia, Canada: Parental Factors Associated with HPV Vaccine Receipt 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(5):e1000270.
Analysis of a telephone survey by Gina Ogilvie and colleagues identifies the parental factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake in a school-based program in Canada.
Background
Information on factors that influence parental decisions for actual human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine receipt in publicly funded, school-based HPV vaccine programs for girls is limited. We report on the level of uptake of the first dose of the HPV vaccine, and determine parental factors associated with receipt of the HPV vaccine, in a publicly funded school-based HPV vaccine program in British Columbia, Canada.
Methods and Findings
All parents of girls enrolled in grade 6 during the academic year of September 2008–June 2009 in the province of British Columbia were eligible to participate. Eligible households identified through the provincial public health information system were randomly selected and those who consented completed a validated survey exploring factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to calculate adjusted odds ratios to identify the factors that were associated with parents' decision to vaccinate their daughter(s) against HPV. 2,025 parents agreed to complete the survey, and 65.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] 63.1–67.1) of parents in the survey reported that their daughters received the first dose of the HPV vaccine. In the same school-based vaccine program, 88.4% (95% CI 87.1–89.7) consented to the hepatitis B vaccine, and 86.5% (95% CI 85.1–87.9) consented to the meningococcal C vaccine. The main reasons for having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine were the effectiveness of the vaccine (47.9%), advice from a physician (8.7%), and concerns about daughter's health (8.4%). The main reasons for not having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine were concerns about HPV vaccine safety (29.2%), preference to wait until the daughter is older (15.6%), and not enough information to make an informed decision (12.6%). In multivariate analysis, overall attitudes to vaccines, the impact of the HPV vaccine on sexual practices, and childhood vaccine history were predictive of parents having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine in a publicly funded school-based HPV vaccine program. By contrast, having a family with two parents, having three or more children, and having more education was associated with a decreased likelihood of having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine.
Conclusions
This study is, to our knowledge, one of the first population-based assessments of factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake in a publicly funded school-based program worldwide. Policy makers need to consider that even with the removal of financial and health care barriers, parents, who are key decision makers in the uptake of this vaccine, are still hesitant to have their daughters receive the HPV vaccine, and strategies to ensure optimal HPV vaccine uptake need to be employed.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
About 10% of cancers in women occur in the cervix, the structure that connects the womb to the vagina. Every year, globally, more than a quarter of a million women die because of cervical cancer, which only occurs after the cervix has been infected with a human papillomavirus (HPV) through sexual intercourse. There are many types of HPV, a virus that infects the skin and the mucosa (the moist membranes that line various parts of the body, including the cervix). Although most people become infected with HPV at some time in their life, most never know they are infected. However, some HPV types cause harmless warts on the skin or around the genital area and several—in particular, HPV 16 and HPV 18, so-called high-risk HPVs—can cause cervical cancer. HPV infections are usually cleared by the immune system, but about 10% of women infected with a high-risk HPV develop a long-term infection that puts them at risk of developing cervical cancer.
Why Was This Study Done?
Screening programs have greatly reduced cervical cancer deaths in developed countries in recent decades by detecting the cancer early when it can be treated; but it would be better to prevent cervical cancer ever developing. Because HPV is necessary for the development of cervical cancer, vaccination of girls against HPV infection before the onset of sexual activity might be one way to do this. Scientists recently developed a vaccine that prevents infection with HPV 16 and HPV 18 (and with two HPVs that cause genital warts) and that should, therefore, reduce the incidence of cervical cancer. Publicly funded HPV vaccination programs are now planned or underway in several countries; but before girls can receive the HPV vaccine, parental consent is usually needed, so it is important to know what influences parental decisions about HPV vaccination. In this study, the researchers undertake a telephone survey to determine the uptake of the HPV vaccine by 11-year-old girls (grade 6) in British Columbia, Canada, and to determine the parental factors associated with vaccine uptake; British Columbia started a voluntary school-based HPV vaccine program in September 2008.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In early 2009, the researchers contacted randomly selected parents of girls enrolled in grade 6 during the 2008–2009 academic year and asked them to complete a telephone survey that explored factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake. 65.1% of the 2,025 parents who completed the survey had consented to their daughter receiving the first dose of HPV vaccine. By contrast, more than 85% of the parents had consented to hepatitis B and meningitis C vaccination of their daughters. Nearly half of the parents surveyed said their main reason for consenting to HPV vaccination was the effectiveness of the vaccine. Conversely, nearly a third of the parents said concern about the vaccine's safety was their main reason for not consenting to vaccination and one in eight said they had been given insufficient information to make an informed decision. In a statistical analysis of the survey data, the researchers found that a positive parental attitude towards vaccination, a parental belief that HPV vaccination had limited impact on sexual practices, and completed childhood vaccination increased the likelihood of a daughter receiving the HPV vaccine. Having a family with two parents or three or more children and having well-educated parents decreased the likelihood of a daughter receiving the vaccine.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide one of the first population-based assessments of the factors that affect HPV vaccine uptake in a setting where there are no financial or health care barriers to vaccination. By identifying the factors associated with parental reluctance to agree to HPV vaccination for their daughters, these findings should help public-health officials design strategies to ensure optimal HPV vaccine uptake, although further studies are needed to discover why, for example, parents with more education are less likely to agree to vaccination than parents with less education. Importantly, the findings of this study, which are likely to be generalizable to other high-income countries, indicate that there is a continued need to ensure that the public receives credible, clear information about both the benefits and long-term safety of HPV vaccination.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000270.
The US National Cancer Institute provides information about cervical cancer for patients and for health professionals, including information on HPV vaccines (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has information about cervical cancer and about HPV
The UK National Health Service Choices website has pages on cervical cancer and on HPV vaccination
More information about cervical cancer and HPV vaccination is available from the Macmillan cancer charity
ImmunizeBC provides general information about vaccination and information about HPV vaccination in British Columbia
MedlinePlus provides links to additional resources about cervical cancer (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000270
PMCID: PMC2864299  PMID: 20454567
4.  Risk of first cervical HPV infection and pre-cancerous lesions after onset of sexual activity: analysis of women in the control arm of the randomized, controlled PATRICIA trial 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14(1):551.
Background
More information is needed about time between sexual initiation and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and development of cervical precancer.
Methods
The objectives were to investigate the time between first sexual activity and detection of first cervical HPV infection or development of first cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), and associated factors in women from the double-blind, multinational, 4-year PATRICIA trial. PATRICIA enroled women aged 15–25 years with no more than 6 lifetime sexual partners. Women were randomized 1:1 to the HPV-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine or to control, but only women from the control arm who began sexual intercourse during the study or within 6 months before enrolment, and had no HPV infection detected before the recorded date of their first sexual intercourse, were included in the present analysis. The time between onset of sexual activity and detection of the first cervical HPV infection or development of the first CIN lesion was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier and univariate and multivariable Cox proportional-hazards models.
Results
A total of 9337 women were enroled in the control arm of PATRICIA of whom 982 fulfilled the required inclusion criteria for analysis. A cumulative total of 28%, 44%, and 62% of the subjects had HPV infection within 12, 24, and 48 months, respectively. The overall incidence rate was 27.08 per 100 person-years. The most common oncogenic types associated with 6-month persistent infection were HPV-16 (incidence rate: 2.74 per 100 person-years), HPV-51 (2.70), HPV-52 (1.66), HPV-66 (1.14), and HPV-18 (1.09). Increased infection risk was associated with more lifetime sexual partners, being single, Chlamydia trachomatis history, and duration of hormone use. CIN1+ and CIN2+ lesions were most commonly associated with HPV-16, with an overall incidence rate of 1.87 and 1.07 per 100 person-years, respectively. Previous cervical HPV infection was most strongly associated with CIN development.
Conclusions
More than 25% of women were infected with HPV within 1 year of beginning sexual activity. Without underestimating the value of vaccination at older ages, our findings emphasize its importance before sexual initiation.
Trial registration
clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00122681.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12879-014-0551-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12879-014-0551-y
PMCID: PMC4251672
HPV; CIN; Sexual intercourse; Time; Risk
5.  Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Anal Human Papillomavirus Infection Among Young Healthy Women in Costa Rica 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;206(7):1103-1110.
Background. Anal cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), yet little is known about anal HPV infection among healthy young women.
Methods. A total of 2017 sexually active women in the control arm of an HPV-16/18 vaccine trial had a single anal specimen collected by a clinician at the 4-year study visit. Samples were tested for HPV by SPF10 PCR/DEIA/LiPA25, version 1.
Results. A total of 4% of women had HPV-16, 22% had oncogenic HPV, and 31% had any HPV detected in an anal specimen. The prevalence of anal HPV was higher among women who reported anal intercourse, compared with those who did not (43.4% vs 28.4%; P < .001). Among women who reported anal intercourse, cervical HPV (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 5.3 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 3.4–8.2]), number of sex partners (aOR, 2.2 [95% CI, 1.1–4.6] for ≥4 partners), and number of anal intercourse partners (aOR, 1.9 [95% CI, 1.1–3.3] for ≥2 partners) were independent risk factors for anal HPV detection. Among women who reported no anal intercourse, cervical HPV (aOR, 4.7 [95% CI, 3.7–5.9]), number of sex partners (aOR, 2.4 [95% CI, 1.7–3.4] for ≥4 partners), and report of anal fissures (aOR, 2.3 [95% CI, 1.1–4.8]) were associated with an increased odds of anal HPV detection.
Conclusion. Anal HPV is common among young women, even those who report no anal sex, and was associated with cervical HPV infection. Anal fissures in women who report never having had anal intercourse may facilitate HPV exposure.
Clinical Trials Registration. NCT00128661.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jis458
PMCID: PMC3499109  PMID: 22850119
6.  Epidemiology and pathology of HPV disease in males 
Gynecologic oncology  2010;117(2 0):S15-S19.
It is currently recognized that besides the significant impact of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in females, HPV causes substantial disease in men as well. Genital warts are a common manifestation of male infection with HPV. Genital warts are highly infectious and approximately 65% of people who have sex with an infected partner will develop warts themselves. More than 90% of genital warts are caused by non-oncogenic HPV types 6 and 11. In addition, recurrent respiratory papillomatosis is a rare disease most often associated with HPV types 6 and 11. Several cancers of the anogenital tract and upper aero-digestive tract, and their precursor lesions in men are now understood to be caused by infection with sexually transmitted HPV. For example, there is increasing incidence of anal cancer in western countries; however, there are limited data on its primary cause, anal canal HPV infection. Genital HPV infection is very common in men with an ongoing international study estimating a prevalence of 65.2% in asymptomatic males aged 18–70 years. Lifetime number of sexual partners was the most significant risk factor for the acquisition of HPV infection (P<0.05), and circumcision has been associated with reduced detection of HPV infection in men. HPV infections may be less likely to persist in men than in women. In men, the median time to clearance of any HPV infection was 5.9 months, with 75% of infections clearing within 12 months. More data are needed to better understand the natural history of HPV infection. Although the quadrivalent HPV vaccine has been shown to be effective and safe in men, low awareness of HPV in males may be a barrier to its use for the prevention of HPV infection.
doi:10.1016/j.ygyno.2010.01.026
PMCID: PMC4254924  PMID: 20138345
Male; HPV infection; Genital warts; Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis; Head and neck cancer; Penile cancer; Anal cancer; Transmission dynamics; Natural history
7.  A Cohort Effect of the Sexual Revolution May Be Masking an Increase in Human Papillomavirus Detection at Menopause in the United States 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2013;207(2):272-280.
Background. Cohort effects, new sex partnerships, and human papillomavirus (HPV) reactivation have been posited as explanations for the bimodal age-specific HPV prevalence observed in some populations; no studies have systematically evaluated the reasons for the lack of a second peak in the United States.
Methods. A cohort of 843 women aged 35–60 years were enrolled into a 2-year, semiannual follow-up study. Age-specific HPV prevalence was estimated in strata defined by a lower risk of prior infection (<5 self-reported lifetime sex partners) and a higher risk of prior infection (≥5 lifetime sex partners). The interaction between age and lifetime sex partners was tested using likelihood ratio statistics. Population attributable risk (PAR) was estimated using Levin's formula.
Results. The age-specific prevalence of 14 high-risk HPV genotypes (HR-HPV) declined with age among women with <5 lifetime sex partners but not among women with ≥5 lifetime sex partners (P = .01 for interaction). The PAR for HR-HPV due to ≥5 lifetime sex partners was higher among older women (87.2%), compared with younger women (28.0%). In contrast, the PAR associated with a new sex partner was 28% among women aged 35–49 years and 7.7% among women aged 50–60 years.
Conclusions. A lower cumulative probability of HPV infection among women with a sexual debut before the sexual revolution may be masking an age-related increase in HPV reactivation in the United States.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jis660
PMCID: PMC3532829  PMID: 23242540
Human Papillomavirus; menopause; perimenopause; sexual revolution; cervical cancer; reactivation; cohort effect; age
8.  Human Papillomavirus (HPV) 6, 11, 16, and 18 Seroprevalence Is Associated with Sexual Practice and Age: Results from the Multinational HPV Infection in Men Study (HIM Study) 
Background
Few human papillomavirus (HPV) serology studies have evaluated type-specific seroprevalence of vaccine HPV types in men. This study investigates seroprevalence of HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18, and associated risk factors in men residing in three countries (United States, Mexico, and Brazil).
Methods
Data from 1,477 men aged 18 to 70 enrolled in the HPV Infection in Men Study (HIM Study) were analyzed. Serum antibody testing was performed with virus-like particle-based ELISA. Potential risk factors were assessed for individual HPV types by the use of logistic regression.
Results
Overall, HPV-6, 11, 16, and 18 seroprevalence was 14.8%, 17.3%, 11.2%, and 5.8%, respectively. Thirty-four percent of men were seropositive to one or more HPV types. When examined by sexual practice, 31.2% of men who had sex with women, 65.6% of men who had sex with men (MSM), and 59.4% of men who had sex with both men and women (MSMW) were seropositive to one or more HPV types. Seroprevalence increased with age among young-to-middle-aged men with significant upward age trends observed for HPV 11, 16, and 18. Men with multiple lifetime male anal sex partners were 2 to 4 times more likely to be HPV 6 or 11 seropositive and 3 to 11 times more likely to be HPV 16 or 18 seropositive.
Conclusion
Our data indicate that exposures to vaccine HPV types were common in men and highly prevalent among MSM and MSMW.
Impact
Our study provides strong evidence that the practice of same-sex anal intercourse is an independent risk factor for seroprevalence of individual vaccine HPV types. Examination of antibody responses to HPV infections at various anatomic sites in future studies is needed to elaborate on the mechanism.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-1160
PMCID: PMC3232028  PMID: 21378268
9.  Epidemiological Study of Anti-HPV16/18 Seropositivity and Subsequent Risk of HPV16 and -18 Infections 
Background
Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 or HPV18 elicits an antibody response, but whether the elicited antibodies protect women against subsequent infection by a homologous HPV type compared with seronegative women is unknown.
Methods
Study participants were women aged 18–25 years at enrollment in the control group of the ongoing National Cancer Institute–sponsored, community-based, randomized HPV16/18 Costa Rica Vaccine Trial. At enrollment, 2813 participants were negative for cervical HPV16 DNA and 2950 for HPV18 DNA. Women were interviewed regarding sociodemographic data and medical and health history. Medical and pelvic examinations were conducted for all consenting sexually experienced women. Serum samples taken at enrollment were tested for total HPV16/18 antibodies with a polyclonal enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and cervical specimens were tested for type-specific HPV DNA over 4 years of follow-up. Using Poisson regression, we compared rate ratios of newly detected cervical HPV16 or HPV18 infection among homologous HPV-seropositive and HPV-seronegative women, adjusting for age, education, marital status, lifetime number of sexual partners, and smoking.
Results
There were 231 newly detected HPV16 infections during 5886 person-years among HPV16-seronegative women compared with 12 newly detected HPV16 infections during 581 person-years among HPV16-seropositive women with the highest HPV16 sero-levels. There were 136 newly detected HPV18 infections during 6352 person-years among HPV18-seronegative women compared with six new infections detected during 675 person-years among HPV18 seropositives with the highest sero-levels. After controlling for risk factors associated with newly detected HPV infection, having high HPV16 antibody titer at enrollment was associated with a reduced risk of subsequent HPV16 infection (women in the highest tertile of HPV16 antibody titers, adjusted rate ratio = 0.50, 95% confidence interval = 0.26 to 0.86 vs HPV16-seronegative women). Similarly, having high HPV18 antibody titer at enrollment was associated with a reduced risk of subsequent HPV18 infection (women in the highest tertile of HPV18 antibody titers, adjusted rate ratio = 0.36, 95% confidence interval = 0.14 to 0.76 vs HPV18-seronegative women).
Conclusion
In this study population, having high antibody levels against HPV16 and HPV18 following natural infection was associated with reduced risk of subsequent HPV16 and HPV18 infections.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djq384
PMCID: PMC2970577  PMID: 20944077
10.  An Intervention to Reduce HIV Risk Behavior of Substance-Using Men Who Have Sex with Men: A Two-Group Randomized Trial with a Nonrandomized Third Group 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(8):e1000329.
In a randomized trial of a behavioral intervention among substance-using men who have sex with men, aimed at reducing sexual risk behavior, Mansergh and colleagues fail to find evidence of a reduction in risk from the intervention.
Background
Substance use during sex is associated with sexual risk behavior among men who have sex with men (MSM), and MSM continue to be the group at highest risk for incident HIV in the United States. The objective of this study is to test the efficacy of a group-based, cognitive-behavioral intervention to reduce risk behavior of substance-using MSM, compared to a randomized attention-control group and a nonrandomized standard HIV-testing group.
Methods and Findings
Participants (n = 1,686) were enrolled in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco and randomized to a cognitive-behavioral intervention or attention-control comparison. The nonrandomized group received standard HIV counseling and testing. Intervention group participants received six 2-h group sessions focused on reducing substance use and sexual risk behavior. Attention-control group participants received six 2-h group sessions of videos and discussion of MSM community issues unrelated to substance use, sexual risk, and HIV/AIDS. All three groups received HIV counseling and testing at baseline. The sample reported high-risk behavior during the past 3 mo prior to their baseline visit: 67% reported unprotected anal sex, and 77% reported substance use during their most recent anal sex encounter with a nonprimary partner. The three groups significantly (p<0.05) reduced risk behavior (e.g., unprotected anal sex reduced by 32% at 12-mo follow-up), but were not different (p>0.05) from each other at 3-, 6-, and 12-mo follow-up. Outcomes for the 2-arm comparisons were not significantly different at 12-mo follow-up (e.g., unprotected anal sex, odds ratio = 1.14, confidence interval = 0.86–1.51), nor at earlier time points. Similar results were found for each outcome variable in both 2- and 3-arm comparisons.
Conclusions
These results for reducing sexual risk behavior of substance-using MSM are consistent with results of intervention trials for other populations, which collectively suggest critical challenges for the field of HIV behavioral interventions. Several mechanisms may contribute to statistically indistinguishable reductions in risk outcomes by trial group. More explicit debate is needed in the behavioral intervention field about appropriate scientific designs and methods. As HIV prevention increasingly competes for behavior-change attention alongside other “chronic” diseases and mental health issues, new approaches may better resonate with at-risk groups.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00153361
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
AIDS first emerged in the early 1980s among gay men living in the US. As the disease spread around the world, it became clear that AIDS also affects heterosexual men and women. Now, three decades on, more than 30 million people are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV is most often spread by having unprotected sex with an infected partner and, globally, most sexual transmission of HIV now occurs during heterosexual sex. However, 5%–10% of all new HIV infections still occur in men who have sex with men (MSM, a term that encompasses gay, bisexual, transgendered, and heterosexual men who sometimes have sex with men) and, in several high-income countries, male-to-male sexual contact remains the most important HIV transmission route. In the US, for example, more than half of the approximately 50,000 people who become infected with HIV every year do so through male-to-male sexual contact.
Why Was This Study Done?
In countries where MSM are the group at highest risk of HIV infection, any intervention that reduces HIV transmission in MSM should have a major effect on the overall HIV infection rate. Among MSM, sexual behaviors that increase the risk of HIV infection (for example, not using a condom, having anal sex, having sex with a partner of unknown HIV status, and having sex with many partners) are associated with the use of alcohol and noninjection drugs (for example, inhaled amyl nitrite or poppers) during or shortly before sexual encounters. In this study (Project MIX), the researchers investigate whether a group-based behavioral intervention reduces sexual risk behavior in substance-using MSM.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recruited substance-using MSM from four US cities who had had risky sex at least once in the past 6 months. Participants were randomized to a cognitive-behavioral intervention or to an attention-control group; a third, nonrandomized group of MSM formed a standard HIV counseling and testing only group. All the groups had HIV counseling and testing at the start of the study and completed a questionnaire about their substance use and sexual risk behavior during their most recent anal sex encounter. The cognitive-behavior group then received six weekly 2-hour group sessions focused on reducing substance use and sexual risk behavior by helping the men change their thinking (cognition) and behavior regarding sexual risk taking. The attention-control group received six group sessions about general MSM issues such as relationships, excluding discussion of substance use, and sexual risk behavior. The participants in both of these groups completed the questionnaire about their substance use and sexual risk behavior again at 3, 6, and 12 months after the group sessions; the participants in the standard HIV counseling and testing group completed the questionnaire again about 5 months after completing the first questionnaire (to control for the time taken by the other two groups to complete the intervention). At baseline, about 67% of the participants reported unprotected anal sex and 77% reported substance use during their most recent anal sex encounter with a nonprimary partner. At the 3-month follow-up, the incidence of sexual risk behavior had fallen to about 43% in all three groups; the incidence of substance use during sex had fallen to about 50%. Risk taking and substance use remained at these levels in the intervention and attention-control groups at the later follow-up time points.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that this cognitive-behavioral intervention is no better at reducing sexual risk taking among substance-using MSM than is an unrelated video-discussion group or standard HIV counseling and testing. One explanation for this negative result might be that brief counseling is especially effective with people who are ready for a change such as MSM willing to enroll in an intervention trial of this type. Alternatively, just being in the trial might have encouraged all the participants to self-report reduced risk behavior. Thus, alternative scientific designs and methods might be needed to find behavioral interventions that can effectively reduce HIV transmission among substance-using MSM and other people at high risk of HIV infection. Importantly, however, these findings raise the question of whether more extensive, multilevel interventions or broader lifestyle and positive health approaches (rather than single-level or single-subject behavioral interventions) might be needed to reduce sexual risk behavior among substance-using MSM.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000329.
Information is available from the US Department of Health and Human Services on HIV prevention programs, research, and policy
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on HIV transmission and transmission in gay men and other MSM, on substance abuse and HIV/AIDS, and on safer sex
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS nonprofit, on all aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on HIV, AIDS, and men who have sex with men and on drink, drugs, and sex (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also have information for the public and for professionals about HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men (in English and Spanish)
The US National Institute on Drug Abuse has information on HIV/AIDS and drug abuse, including a resource aimed at educating teenagers about the link between drug abuse and the spread of HIV in the US (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000329
PMCID: PMC2927550  PMID: 20811491
11.  Type-Specific Cervico-Vaginal Human Papillomavirus Infection Increases Risk of HIV Acquisition Independent of Other Sexually Transmitted Infections 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(4):e10094.
Background
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as herpes simplex virus (HSV)-2 are associated with an increased risk of HIV infection. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common STI, but little is know about its role in HIV transmission. The objective of this study was to determine whether cervico-vaginal HPV infection increases the risk of HIV acquisition in women independent of other common STIs.
Methods and Findings
This prospective cohort study followed 2040 HIV-negative Zimbabwean women (average age 27 years, range 18–49 years) for a median of 21 months. Participants were tested quarterly for 29 HPV types (with L1 PCR primers) and HIV (antibody testing on blood samples with DNA or RNA PCR confirmation). HIV incidence was 2.7 per 100 woman-years. Baseline HPV prevalence was 24.5%, and the most prevalent HPV types were 58 (5.0%), 16 (4.7%), 70 (2.4%), and 18 (2.3%). In separate regression models adjusting for baseline variables (including age, high risk partner, positive test for STIs, positive HSV-2 serology and condom use), HIV acquisition was associated with having baseline prevalent infection with HPV 58 (aHR 2.13; 95% CI 1.09–4.15) or HPV 70 (aHR 2.68; 95% CI 1.08–6.66). In separate regression models adjusting for both baseline variables and time-dependent variables (including HSV-2 status, incident STIs, new sexual partner and condom use), HIV acquisition was associated with concurrent infection with any non-oncogenic HPV type (aHR 1.70; 95% CI 1.02–2.85), any oncogenic HPV type (aHR 1.96; 95% CI 1.16–3.30), HPV 31 (aHR 4.25; 95% CI 1.81–9.97) or HPV 70 (aHR 3.30; 95% CI 1.50–7.20). Detection of any oncogenic HPV type within the previous 6 months was an independent predictor of HIV acquisition, regardless of whether HPV status at the HIV acquisition visit was included (aHR 1.95; 95% CI 1.19–3.21) or excluded (aHR 1.96; 95% CI 1.02–2.85) from the analysis.
Conclusions/Significance
Cervico-vaginal HPV infection was associated with an increased risk of HIV acquisition in women, and specific HPV types were implicated in this association. The observational nature of our study precludes establishment of causation between HPV infection and HIV acquisition. However, given the high prevalence of HPV infection in women, further investigation of the role of HPV in HIV transmission is warranted.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010094
PMCID: PMC2851652  PMID: 20386706
12.  Epidemiology of HPV genotypes in Uganda and the role of the current preventive vaccines: A systematic review 
Background
Limited data are available on the distribution of human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes in the general population and in invasive cervical cancer (ICC) in Uganda. Yet, with the advent of preventive HPV vaccines that target HPV 16 and 18 responsible for causing about 70% of ICC cases in the world, such information is crucial to predict how vaccination and HPV-based screening will influence prevention of ICC.
Methods
To review the distribution of HPV infection and prevalent genotypes, electronic databases (e.g. PubMed/MEDLINE and HINARI) were searched for peer reviewed English articles on HPV infection up to November 30, 2010. Eligible studies were selected according to the following criteria: DNA-confirmed cervical or male genital HPV prevalence and genotypes, HPV incidence estimates and HPV seroprevalence among participants.
Results
Twenty studies were included in the review. Among HIV negative adult women, the prevalence of HR-HPV infections ranged from 10.2% -40.0% compared to 37.0% -100.0% among HIV positive women. Among HIV positive young women aged below 25 years, the prevalence of HR-HPV genotypes ranged from 41.6% -75.0% compared to 23.7% -67.1% among HIV negative women. Multiple infections with non vaccine HR-HPV genotypes were frequent in both HIV positive and HIV negative women. The main risk factors for prevalent HPV infections were age, lifetime number of sexual partners and HIV infection. Incident infections with HR-HPV genotypes were more frequent among adult HIV positive than HIV negative women estimated at 17.3 and 7.0 per 100 person-years, respectively. Similarly, incident HR-HPV among young women aged below 25 years were more frequent among HIV positive (40.0 per 100 person-years) than HIV negative women (20.3 per 100 person-years) women. The main risk factor for incident infection was HIV infection. HPV 16 and 18 were the most common genotypes in ICC with HPV 16/18 contributing up to 73.5% of cases with single infections.
Among uncircumcised adult HIV positive males, HR-HPV prevalence ranged from 55.3% -76.6% compared to 38.6% -47.6% in HIV negative males. Incident and multiple HR-HPV infections were frequent in HIV positive males. Being uncircumcised was the main risk factor for both prevalent and incident HPV infection.
Conclusion
Infections with HR-HPV genotypes were very common particularly among HIV positive individuals and young women irrespective of HIV status. Given the high prevalence of HIV infection, HPV-associated conditions represent a major public health burden in Uganda. However, although the most common HPV genotypes in ICC cases in Uganda were those targeted by current preventive vaccines, there were a large number of individuals infected with other HR-HPV genotypes. Technology allowing, these other HR-HPV types should be considered in the development of the next generation of vaccines.
doi:10.1186/1750-9378-6-11
PMCID: PMC3163594  PMID: 21749691
13.  Concordant Oral-Genital HPV Infection in South Africa Couples: Evidence for Transmission 
Frontiers in Oncology  2013;3:303.
Objective: Cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer mortality in South Africa. However, little is known about oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in high human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seroprevalence settings.
Method: Thirty-four adult heterosexual couples attending an HIV testing center in Soweto, South Africa were enrolled. Each participant provided an oral rinse sample and genital swab, which were tested for 37 types of HPV DNA, and completed a risk behavior survey.
Results: Median age was 31 years and 9% (3/34) of men and 29% (10/34) of women enrolled tested HIV-positive; median CD4 count was 437 cells/mm3. Oral HPV prevalence was similar in women and men (12 vs. 18%, p = 0.48), and was non-significantly higher in HIV-infected vs. HIV-uninfected (23 vs. 13%, p = 0.34) subjects. Most men (82%) and women (84%) reported ever performing oral sex. Median number of lifetime sexual partners was “2–5” while median number of lifetime oral sex partners was 1. Oncogenic HPV subtypes were detected in 4% of oral, 26% of penile, and 74% of vaginal samples, including HPV16 in 1, 12, and 21% of these samples respectively. Genital HPV prevalence was significantly higher than oral HPV prevalence (75 vs. 15%, p ≤ 0.001). Thirty-five percent of couples (12/34) had at least one type-specific concordant vaginal-penile HPV infection but only one of nine couples with oral HPV had concordant oral–oral infection. However, 67% (4/6) of men and 25% (1/4) of women with oral HPV infection had partners with concordant genital HPV infection.
Implications and Impact: Oral–oral HPV concordance between couples is low, but oral-genital and genital–genital HPV concordance is higher, including concordance of male oral HPV infection with their partners’ vaginal HPV infection. This data is consistent with possible transmission of vaginal HPV infection to the oral cavity of sexual partners performing oral sex.
doi:10.3389/fonc.2013.00303
PMCID: PMC3860183  PMID: 24377087
HIV; oral sex; South Africa; HPV; oral; genital; concordance; transmission
14.  Factors Affecting the Prevalence of Strongly and Weakly Carcinogenic and Lower-Risk Human Papillomaviruses in Anal Specimens in a Cohort of Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79492.
Background
MSM are at higher risk for invasive anal cancer. Twelve human papillomaviruses (HPVs) cause cervical cancer in women (Group 1 high-risk HPVs (hrHPVs)) and 13 HPVs are probable/possible causes (Group 2 hrHPVs) of cervical malignancy. HPVs rarely associated with malignancy are classified as lower-risk HPVs (lrHPVs).
Materials and Methods
Dacron-swab anal-cytology specimens were collected from and data complete for 97% (1262/1296) of Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) men tested for HPVs using the Linear Array assay. Multivariate Poisson regression analyses estimated adjusted prevalence ratios for Group 1/2 hrHPVs and lrHPVs, controlling for the effects of age, race, ethnicity, sexual partnerships, smoking; HIV-infection characteristics, treatment, and immune status among HIV-infected men.
Results
HIV-infected men showed 35–90% higher prevalence of Group 1/2 hrHPVs and lrHPVs than HIV-uninfected men, and higher prevalence of multi-Type, and multiple risk-group infections. CD4+ T-cell count was inversely associated with HPV Group 2 prevalence (p<0.0001). The number of receptive anal intercourse (RAI) partners reported in the 24 months preceding HPV testing predicted higher prevalence of Group 1/2 hrHPVs. Men reporting ≥30 lifetime male sex partners before their first MACS visit and men reporting ≥1 RAI partners during the 24 months before HPV testing showed 17–24% and 13–17% higher prevalence of lrHPVs (p-values ≤0.05). Men reporting smoking between MACS visit 1 and 24 months before HPV testing showed 1.2-fold higher prevalence of Group 2 hrHPVs (p = 0.03). Both complete adherence to CART (p = 0.02) and HIV load <50 copies/mL (p = 0.04) were protective for Group 1 hrHPVs among HIV-infected men.
Conclusions
HIV-infected men more often show multi-type and multi-group HPV infections HIV-uninfected men. Long-term mutual monogamy and smoking cessation, generally, and CART-adherence that promotes (HIV) viremia control and prevents immunosuppression, specifically among HIV-infected MSM, are important prevention strategies for HPV infections that are relevant to anal cancer.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079492
PMCID: PMC3835810  PMID: 24278140
15.  Incidence, clearance and predictors of human papillomavirus infection in women  
Background
Persistent infection with carcinogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) is linked to high-grade lesions and cervical cancer. To better understand the natural history of HPV, we sought to determine the rates of incident and cleared carcinogenic HPV infection, by age, among women aged 15–49 years and to explore risk factors for incident infection.
Methods
Women enrolled in an earlier HPV prevalence survey (500 of 800 who were HPV-negative and all 121 who were HPV-positive) were invited to participate in follow-up HPV testing at their periodic health examination one year later. A cervical soft-brush specimen for HPV testing and a smear for cytologic examination were obtained, and participants completed a questionnaire on their demographic characteristics and sexual history.
Results
Two hundred and fifty-three (50.6%) previously HPV-negative women and 54 (44.6%) previously HPV-positive women were retested. The mean interval between visits was 14.0 (standard deviation 2.0, median 13.5, range 9.0–21.3) months. Incident HPV infection occurred in 11.1% (28/253) of the women overall, with the highest rate, 25.0% (6/24), in the 15–19-year age group. In the univariate analyses, risk factors for incident HPV were the median number of sexual partners in the past year (≤ 1 v. ≥ 2: odds ratio [OR] 8.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.0–22.2; p < 0.001) and the median number of sexual partners over a lifetime (> 3 v. ≤ 3: OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.2–7.2; p = 0.014). In multivariate logistic regression modelling adjusted for age, median number of sexual partners in the past year, median number of sexual partners over a lifetime, marital status, current smoking and current use of oral contraceptives, only the median number of sexual partners in the past year remained significantly associated with incidence (OR 6.2, 95% CI 1.6–24.5; p = 0.009). Of the previously HPV-positive women, 51.9% (28/54) had cleared the infection.
Interpretation
Incident infection with carcinogenic HPV was highest in women aged 15–19 years, and risk factors were consistent with a sexually transmitted infection. A large proportion of the women who were HPV-positive appeared to have cleared the infection after one year.
PMCID: PMC143547  PMID: 12591782
16.  HPV Vaccination and Sexual Behavior in a Community College Sample 
Journal of community health  2013;38(6):10.1007/s10900-013-9710-0.
Many US parents are concerned that vaccinating daughters against human papillomavirus (HPV) will communicate implicit approval for sexual activity and be associated with early or risky sexual behavior (Scarinci et al. in J Womens Health 16(8):1224–1233, 2007; Schuler et al. in Sex Transm Infect 87:349–353, 2011) [7, 8]. The aims of this study were to understand (a) whether the HPV vaccine was associated with risky sexual behavior among a diverse sample of female adolescents and young adults, and (b) to better understand the chronology of HPV vaccination and sexual behavior. An anonymous web-based survey was used to collect data from 114 female community college students. T test and Chi square analyses were used to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated groups on age at first intercourse and proportion who had ever had sexual intercourse. Linear multiple regression was used to predict frequency of condom use and number of sexual partners in the past year, using vaccination status and demographic factors as predictors. About 38 % reported receiving at least one dose of the HPV vaccine. Many of those vaccinated (45 %) received the vaccine after having initiated sexual activity. The proportion of women who were sexually experienced did not differ by HPV vaccine status, nor did age at first intercourse, number of partners in the past year, or frequency of condom use. Current findings suggest that HPV vaccination is not associated with riskier sexual activity for the young women in this sample. Adolescents and their parents may benefit from education about the need to receive the HPV vaccine before onset of sexual activity.
doi:10.1007/s10900-013-9710-0
PMCID: PMC3823717  PMID: 23728823
HPV vaccine; Human papillomavirus; Cervical cancer prevention; College health; Sexual behavior
17.  A prospective study of absolute risk and determinants of human papillomavirus incidence among young women in Costa Rica 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:308.
Background
High risk human papillomaviruses (HR-HPV) are known to be extremely common, sexually transmitted infections, but more information is needed regarding the absolute risks of type-specific HR-HPV infections in the years following sexual debut.
Methods
We conducted a survival analysis of 3,737 women aged 18–25 from the control group of the Costa Rican Vaccine trial to determine the absolute risks of HR-HPV infections at 12 months, 24 months, and end of follow-up (average of 50.7 months). To corroborate determinants of infection, we used Cox proportional hazards methods to assess associations between demographics and sexual risk behaviors and incident HR-HPV.
Results
Cumulative incidence for HR-HPV infections was 51.3% at the end of the study period. The most common incident types were HPV52 (15.4%), HPV51 (13.6%), and HPV16 (12.4%). Type-specific cumulative incidence corresponded closely with type-specific prevalences, except that HPV16 was more prevalent than predicted by incidence, suggesting greater persistence. The strongest predictors of incident HR-HPV infections as a group in a multivariate analysis were the expected correlates of sexual behavior of the woman and her partner, such as being single (HR 1.6, 95% CI 1.4-1.8) or divorced/widowed (HR: 2.1, 95% CI: 1.7-2.7), having multiple HPV infections at enrollment (HR: 1.5, 95% CI: 1.3-1.7), and current smoking (HR: 1.2, 95% CI: 1.0-1.3). In women who reported being having only one lifetime sexual partner (being in a monogamous relationship), the strongest predictors of HR-HPV included not living with sex partner (HR: 2.1, 95% CI 1.7-2.5) and age of sex partner (HR: 1.4, 95% CI: 1.0-1.8).
Conclusion
We confirm the extremely high incidence of HR-HPV in young women, emphasizing the importance of vaccinating young girls before sexual debut.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-308
PMCID: PMC3723935  PMID: 23834901
Human papillomavirus; Absolute risk; Risk factors; Sexual behavior
18.  Oral HPV Infection and Sexuality: A Cross-Sectional Study in Women 
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the main risk factor for cervical cancers and is associated with close to 36% of oropharyngeal cancers. There is increasing evidence that oral HPV transmission is related to sexual behavior but to our knowledge studies that involve women who have sex with women have not been performed. We examined the prevalence of oral HPV according to sexual behavior among a population-based sample of 118 women and have made some inferences of possible predictors of oral HPV infection. Women were categorized as heterosexual (history of vaginal sex and/or oral sex with males only, n = 75), bisexual (history of vaginal sex and oral sex with females, n = 32) and other (no history of vaginal sex but oral sex with females [homosexuals], virgins and women with incomplete sexual exposure data, n = 11) The prevalence of oral HPV infection was 12/118 (10.2%) for the overall study population and was not significantly different between heterosexual and bisexual women (10.7% (8/75) vs. 12.5% (4/32), p = 0.784). There was no oral HPV detected among homosexual women, virgins or among women where sexual exposure was unknown. Never smokers were more likely to be oral HPV+ compared to former smokers (Adjusted Odds Ratio (Adj OR) = 0.1, 95% CI, 0.0–1.1) and there was no difference in risk between never smokers and current smokers (Adj OR = 0.7, 95% CI, 0.1–4.6). Twenty-five percent (3/12) of oral HPV+ women had a history of HPV and/or genital warts compared to 9% (10/106) of oral HPV-women (p = 0.104). For the women with a history of vaginal sex (n = 110), oral HPV status was statistically significantly different according to oral sex exposure (p = 0.039). A higher proportion of oral HPV-positive women reported that they had no history of oral sex exposure compared to oral HPV-negative women (4/12, 33% vs. 7/98, 8%). The prevalence of cervical HPV infection did not vary between heterosexuals and bisexuals (35.7% (25/70) vs. 35.5% (11/31), p-value 0.411) and for all other women the cervical HPV prevalence was significantly lower (11.1%, 1/9). Our study suggests that smoking and sexual behavior involving males rather than female partners may be possible predictors of oral HPV infection in women. Further studies with larger sample size are needed to confirm these findings.
doi:10.3390/ijms12063928
PMCID: PMC3131599  PMID: 21747715
sexual behavior; HPV; oral; cervical
19.  Human papillomavirus infection and risk factors in a cohort of Tuscan women aged 18-24: results at recruitment 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:157.
Background
There is conclusive evidence that human papillomavirus (HPV) infections of the cervix are a necessary cause of cervical cancer. In Italy there are consistent data of HPV prevalence in women aged 25 - 64 years, but there is limited data for younger women. The objective of this on-going 3-year prospective cohort study is to investigate the prevalence, acquisition, clearance and persistence of HPV infections in young Tuscan women and the risk factors correlated with such events.
Methods
One thousand and sixty-six women aged between 18 and 24 years were enrolled and received an initial HPV test. They were asked to return to the clinic over the study period for further tests every 12 months, if their HPV HR result was negative, or every 6 months, if positive. Additionally, women with an HPV positive result were given a cytological examination and if the cytological diagnosis was ASC-US or more severe, only women with HPV HR, were referred for colposcopy.
Results
We present here data for the enrolment phase of the study. At baseline, within the study sample, just under 30% of women were infected by HPV and 19.3% of women were infected with oncogenic types. A relationship was highlighted between HPV infection, number of sexual partners (in particularly in the last 3 years) and the lifetime number of partner's partners. Condom use showed a slight protective effect in univariate analysis but these data were not statistically significant in multivariate analysis. The association between HPV infection and demographic and behavioural variables were tested by crude odds ratio (OR). Multivariate logistic regression was applied to compute the adjusted odds ratios.
Conclusions
The prevalence of oncogenic HPV types was high in young Tuscan women. The 3-year follow-up of this cohort may provide a better understanding of the processes of acquisition, clearance and persistence of infection and the correlated risk factors.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-157
PMCID: PMC2898819  PMID: 20529280
20.  Prevalence of high-risk human papilloma virus among women with hepatitis C virus before liver transplantation 
Background
We sought to assess the prevalence and risk factors for high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection among female liver transplant (LT) candidates. Traditional health screening before LT listing has included Pap smear and is typically carried out by the patient’s local provider. The prevalence of high-risk HPV in this population has not been studied.
Methods
With Institutional Review Board approval, 62 LT candidates received a liquid-based Pap smear with high-risk HPV testing as part of their pre-transplant evaluation by a single provider. Clinical variables included age, ethnicity, insurance status, prior Pap smear, and HPV results, HPV risk factors including age of first intercourse, number of lifetime partners, last sexual activity, smoking, birth control pill use, history of sexually transmitted infections, human immunodeficiency virus status, immunosuppressive medication, medical diagnoses, prescribed medications, and history of hepatitis A, B, C, or D.
Results
The 62 women had a median age of 56 years, and 39% had high-risk behavior known to be associated with HPV. Ten of 62 patients (16.1%) had high-risk HPV at baseline screening, 5 of whom had atypical cytology. All of the patients who were positive for high-risk HPV had an etiology of hepatitis C virus (HCV) as the underlying cause of liver disease, with the majority (90%) having no history of high-risk behavior for HPV. In contrast, all patients with high-risk behavior who were HCV negative were HPV negative. Fisher’s exact test demonstrated a statistically significant relationship between HPV and HCV; odds ratio = 24.4, 95% confidence interval, P-value = 0.0013. None of the other potential risk factors were associated with HPV in this cohort.
Conclusions
In this study, we provide evidence of a strong association between HCV and HPV in LT candidates, which has not been previously reported. HPV positivity was observed in non-sexually active women, suggesting a reactivation of dormant HPV. An association between hepatitis C and high-risk HPV could involve impairment of T-cell function by hepatitis C. These data support close surveillance in women’s health screening for LT candidates. Further studies to characterize immune responses in these patients will be in order.
doi:10.1111/tid.12086
PMCID: PMC3775489  PMID: 23647866
immunosuppression; liver disease; liver transplantation; human papilloma virus; hepatitis C virus; cancer prevention; women’s health screening; genital neoplasm; HPV; HCV
21.  Prevalence of Consensual Male–Male Sex and Sexual Violence, and Associations with HIV in South Africa: A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(6):e1001472.
Using a method that offered complete privacy to participants, Rachel Jewkes and colleagues conducted a survey among South African men about their lifetime same-sex experiences.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
In sub-Saharan Africa the population prevalence of men who have sex with men (MSM) is unknown, as is the population prevalence of male-on-male sexual violence, and whether male-on-male sexual violence may relate to HIV risk. This paper describes lifetime prevalence of consensual male–male sexual behavior and male-on-male sexual violence (victimization and perpetration) in two South African provinces, socio-demographic factors associated with these experiences, and associations with HIV serostatus.
Methods and Findings
In a cross-sectional study conducted in 2008, men aged 18–49 y from randomly selected households in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces provided anonymous survey data and dried blood spots for HIV serostatus assessment. Interviews were completed in 1,737 of 2,298 (75.6%) of enumerated and eligible households. From these households, 1,705 men (97.1%) provided data on lifetime history of same-sex experiences, and 1,220 (70.2%) also provided dried blood spots for HIV testing. 5.4% (n = 92) of participants reported a lifetime history of any consensual sexual activity with another man; 9.6% (n = 164) reported any sexual victimization by a man, and 3.0% (n = 51) reported perpetrating sexual violence against another man. 85.0% (n = 79) of men with a history of consensual sex with men reported having a current female partner, and 27.7% (n = 26) reported having a current male partner. Of the latter, 80.6% (n = 21/26) also reported having a female partner. Men reporting a history of consensual male–male sexual behavior are more likely to have been a victim of male-on-male sexual violence (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 7.24; 95% CI 4.26–12.3), and to have perpetrated sexual violence against another man (aOR = 3.10; 95% CI 1.22–7.90). Men reporting consensual oral/anal sex with a man were more likely to be HIV+ than men with no such history (aOR = 3.11; 95% CI 1.24–7.80). Men who had raped a man were more likely to be HIV+ than non-perpetrators (aOR = 3.58; 95% CI 1.17–10.9).
Conclusions
In this sample, one in 20 men (5.4%) reported lifetime consensual sexual contact with a man, while about one in ten (9.6%) reported experience of male-on-male sexual violence victimization. Men who reported having had sex with men were more likely to be HIV+, as were men who reported perpetrating sexual violence towards other men. Whilst there was no direct measure of male–female concurrency (having overlapping sexual relationships with men and women), the data suggest that this may have been common. These findings suggest that HIV prevention messages regarding male–male sex in South Africa should be mainstreamed with prevention messages for the general population, and sexual health interventions and HIV prevention interventions for South African men should explicitly address male-on-male sexual violence.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
AIDS first emerged in the early 1980s among gay men living in the US, but it soon became clear that AIDS also infects heterosexual men and women. Now, three decades on, globally, 34 million people (two-thirds of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa and half of whom are women) are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and 2.5 million people become infected every year. HIV is most often spread by having unprotected sex with an infected partner, and most sexual transmission of HIV now occurs during heterosexual sex. However, 5%–10% of all new HIV infections still occur in men who have sex with men (MSM; homosexual, bisexual, and transgender men, and heterosexual men who sometimes have consensual sex with men). Moreover, in the concentrated HIV epidemics of high-income countries (epidemics in which the prevalence of HIV infection is more than 5% in at-risk populations such as sex workers but less than 1% in the general population), male-to-male sexual contact remains the most important transmission route, and MSM often have a higher prevalence of HIV infection than heterosexual men.
Why Was This Study Done?
By contrast to high-income countries, HIV epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa are generalized—the prevalence of HIV infection is 1% or more in the general population. Because male-to-male sexual behavior is criminalized in many African countries and because homosexuality is widely stigmatized, little is known about the prevalence of consensual male–male sexual behavior in sub-Saharan Africa. This information and a better understanding of male–female sexual concurrency (having overlapping sexual relationships with men and women) and of how male-to-male transmission contributes to generalized HIV epidemics is needed to inform the design of HIV prevention strategies for use in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, very little is known about male-on-male sexual violence. Such violence is potentially important to study because we know that male-on-female violence is associated with increased HIV risk for both victims and perpetrators. In this cross-sectional study (an investigation that measures population characteristics at a single time point), the researchers use data from a population-based household survey to investigate the lifetime prevalence of consensual male–male sexual behavior and male-on-male sexual violence (victimization and perpetration) among men in South Africa and the association of these experiences with HIV infection.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
About 1,700 adult men from randomly selected households in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa self-completed a survey that included questions about their lifetime history of same-sex experiences using audio-enhanced personal digital assistants, a data collection method that provided a totally private and anonymous environment for the disclosure of illegal and stigmatized behavior; 1,220 of them also provided dried blood spots for HIV testing. Ninety-two men (5.4% of the participants) reported consensual sexual activity (for example, anal or oral sex) with another man at some time during their life; 9.6% of the men reported that they had been forced to have sex with another man (sexual victimization), and 3% reported that they had perpetrated sexual violence against another man. Most of the men who reported consensual sex with men, including those with current male partners, reported that they had a current female partner. Men with a history of consensual male–male sexual behavior were more likely to have been a victim or perpetrator of male-on-male sexual violence than men without a history of such experiences. Finally, men who reported consensual oral or anal sex with a man were more likely to be HIV+ than men without such a history, and perpetrators of male-on-male sexual violence were more likely to be HIV+ than non-perpetrators.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide new information about male–male sexual behaviors, male-on-male sexual violence, male–female concurrency, and HIV prevalence among men in two South African provinces. The precision of these findings is likely to be affected by the small numbers of men reporting a history of consensual male–male sexual behavior and of male-on-male sexual violence. Importantly, because the study was cross-sectional, these findings cannot indicate whether the association between consensual male–male sexual behaviors and increased risk of male-on-male sexual violence is causal. Moreover, these findings may not be generalizable to other regions of South Africa or to other African countries. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that information about the risks of male–male sexual behaviors should be included in HIV prevention strategies targeted at the general population in South Africa and that HIV prevention interventions for South African men should explicitly address male-on-male sexual violence. Similar HIV prevention strategies may also be suitable for other African countries, but are likely to succeed only in countries that have, like South Africa, decriminalized consensual homosexual behavior.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001472.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Jerome Singh
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS
NAM/aidsmap provides basic information about HIV/AIDS, including summaries of recent research findings on HIV care and treatment
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on HIV and men who have sex with men, on HIV prevention, and on AIDS in Africa (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has information about HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men (in English and Spanish)
Patient stories about living with HIV/AIDS are available through Avert; the charity website Healthtalkonline also provides personal stories about living with HIV
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001472
PMCID: PMC3708702  PMID: 23853554
22.  Sexual behaviour and smoking as determinants of cervical HPV infection and of CIN3 among those infected: a case–control study nested within the Manchester cohort 
British Journal of Cancer  2000;83(11):1565-1572.
To distinguish risk factors for acquisition of cervical human papillomavirus (HPV) infection from the determinants of neoplasia among infected individuals we have conducted a three-arm case-control study nested within a large population-based cohort of women (the Manchester cohort) screened for HPV at entry using L1 consensus primer PCR. The study includes 181 HPV-positive controls who did not develop high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN3) during follow-up, 203 HPV-negative controls, and 199 HPV-positive cases with histologically confirmed CIN3. Detailed information on sexual, reproductive and gynaecological history, oral contraceptive use and smoking was obtained at face-to-face interview. There was a striking division between risk factors for infection and those predictive of disease. Comparing the HPV-positive against the HPV-negative controls, the only risk factors for infection were number of sexual partners (OR for six or more = 3.89; 95% Cl = 1.99–7.62), a relatively recent new sexual relationship (OR for a new partner within the previous 2 years = 4.17; 95% Cl = 2.13–8.33), and a history of previous miscarriage (OR = 2.59; 95% Cl = 1.28–5.21). The determinants of CIN3 among infected women were, in contrast, early age at first intercourse (OR for 16 years old or less = 3.23; 95% Cl = 1.33–7.69), a long time since starting a new sexual relationship (OR for 6 years or more = 4.94; 95% Cl = 2.51–9.71), and cigarette smoking, with strong evidence for a dose– response (OR for current smoking habit 20+ per day = 2.57; 95% Cl = 1.49–4.45). Oral contraceptive use was not significantly associated with either HPV infection or CIN3. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com
doi:10.1054/bjoc.2000.1523
PMCID: PMC2363425  PMID: 11076670
cervical neoplasia; CIN3; HPV; sexual behaviour; smoking
23.  When Do HIV-Infected Women Disclose Their HIV Status to Their Male Partner and Why? A Study in a PMTCT Programme, Abidjan 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(12):e342.
Background
In Africa, women tested for HIV during antenatal care are counselled to share with their partner their HIV test result and to encourage partners to undertake HIV testing. We investigate, among women tested for HIV within a prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programme, the key moments for disclosure of their own HIV status to their partner and the impact on partner HIV testing.
Methods and Findings
Within the Ditrame Plus PMTCT project in Abidjan, 546 HIV-positive and 393 HIV-negative women were tested during pregnancy and followed-up for two years after delivery. Circumstances, frequency, and determinants of disclosure to the male partner were estimated according to HIV status. The determinants of partner HIV testing were identified according to women's HIV status. During the two-year follow-up, disclosure to the partner was reported by 96.7% of the HIV-negative women, compared to 46.2% of HIV-positive women (χ2 = 265.2, degrees of freedom [df] = 1, p < 0.001). Among HIV-infected women, privileged circumstances for disclosure were just before delivery, during early weaning (at 4 mo to prevent HIV postnatal transmission), or upon resumption of sexual activity. Formula feeding by HIV-infected women increased the probability of disclosure (adjusted odds ratio 1.54, 95% confidence interval 1.04–2.27, Wald test = 4.649, df = 1, p = 0.031), whereas household factors such as having a co-spouse or living with family reduced the probability of disclosure. The proportion of male partners tested for HIV was 23.1% among HIV-positive women and 14.8% among HIV-negative women (χ2 = 10.04, df = 1, p = 0.002). Partners of HIV-positive women who were informed of their wife's HIV status were more likely to undertake HIV testing than those not informed (37.7% versus 10.5%, χ2 = 56.36, df = 1, p < 0.001).
Conclusions
In PMTCT programmes, specific psychosocial counselling and support should be provided to women during the key moments of disclosure of HIV status to their partners (end of pregnancy, weaning, and resumption of sexual activity). This support could contribute to improving women's adherence to the advice given to prevent postnatal and sexual HIV transmission.
In a mother-to-child HIV prevention program in Côte d'Ivoire, Annabel Desgrées-du-Loû and colleagues identify three junctures at which women tend to disclose their HIV status to partners.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Since the first reported case of AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) in 1981, the number of people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, has risen steadily. By the end of 2006, nearly 40 million people were infected, 25 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa. HIV is most often spread by having unprotected sex with an infected partner. In Africa, most sexual transmission of HIV is between partners in stable relationships—many such couples do not adopt measures that prevent viral transmission, such as knowing the HIV status of both partners and using condoms if one partner is HIV-positive. HIV can also pass from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, labor, or delivery, or through breastfeeding. Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV can be reduced by giving anti-HIV drugs to the mother during pregnancy and labor and to her newborn baby, and by avoiding breastfeeding or weaning the baby early.
Why Was This Study Done?
Many African countries have programs for prevention of MTCT (PMTCT) that offer pregnant women prenatal HIV counseling and testing. As a result, women are often the first member of a stable relationship to know their HIV status. PMTCT programs advise women to disclose their HIV test result to their partner and to encourage him to have an HIV test. But for many women, particularly those who are HIV-positive, talking to their partner about HIV/AIDS is hard because of fears of rejection (which could mean loss of housing and food) or accusations of infidelity. Knowing more about when women disclose their HIV status and what makes them decide to do so would help the people running PMTCT programs to support women during the difficult process of disclosure. In this study, the researchers have investigated when and why women participating in a PMTCT research project in Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire) told their partner about their HIV status and the impact this disclosure had on their partner's uptake of HIV testing.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
At regular follow-up visits, the researchers asked women in the Abidjan PMTCT project whether they had told their partners their HIV status and whether they were breast-feeding or had resumed sexual activity. Nearly all the women who tested negative for HIV, but slightly fewer than half of the HIV-positive (infected) women had told their partner about their HIV status by two years after childbirth. Two-thirds of the HIV-positive women who disclosed their status did so before delivery. Other key times for disclosure were at early weaning (4 months after birth) for women who breast-fed their babies, and when sexual activity resumed. HIV-positive women who bottle fed their babies from birth were more likely to tell their partners of their status than women who breast-fed. Factors that prevented women disclosing their HIV status included living in a polygamous relationship or living separately from their partners. Finally, the researchers report that the partners of HIV-positive women who disclosed their HIV status were about three times more likely to take an HIV test than the partners of HIV-positive women who did not disclose.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings identify three key times when women who have had an HIV test during pregnancy are likely to disclose their HIV status to their partner. The main one is before delivery and relates, in part, to how the mother plans to feed her baby. To bottle feed in Abidjan, women need considerable support from their partners and this may be the impetus for disclosing their HIV status. Disclosure at early weaning may reflect the woman's need to enlist her partner's support for this unusual decision—the normal time for weaning in Abidjan is 17 months. Finally, disclosure when sexual activity resumes may be necessary so that the woman can explain why she wants to use condoms. Although these findings need confirmation in other settings, targeting counseling and support within PMTCT programs to these key moments might help HIV-positive women to tell their partners about their status. This, hopefully, would help to reduce sexual transmission of HIV within stable relationships in sub-Saharan Africa.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040342.
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS and on HIV infection in women
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS
Women Children and HIV provides extensive information on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in developing countries
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on HIV and AIDS in Africa and on HIV and AIDS prevention
AIDSinfo, a service of the US Department of Health and Human Services provideshealth information for HIV-positive pregnant women (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040342
PMCID: PMC2100145  PMID: 18052603
24.  Epidemiology of, and behavioural risk factors for, sexually transmitted human papillomavirus infection in men and women in Britain 
Sexually Transmitted Infections  2012;88(3):212-217.
Objectives
Persistent infection with high-risk sexually transmitted human papillomaviruses (HR-HPVs) can lead to development of cervical and other cancers, while low-risk types (low-risk HPV) may cause genital warts. We explored the epidemiology of different HPV types in men and women and their association with demographic and behavioural variables.
Methods
We analysed data collected for the British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, a cross-sectional survey undertaken in 1999–2001. Half of all sexually experienced male and female respondents aged 18–44 years were invited to provide a urine sample. We tested 3123 stored urine samples using an in-house Luminex-based HPV genotyping system.
Results
HPV DNA was detected in 29.0% (95% CI 26.7% to 31.3%) of samples from women and 17.4% (95% CI 15.1% to 19.8%) from men. Any of 13 HR-HPV types was detected in 15.9% (95% CI 14.1% to 17.8%) of women and 9.6% (95% CI 8.0% to 11.6%) of men. HPV types 16/18 were found in 5.5% (95% CI 4.5% to 6.8%) of women and 3.0% (95% CI 2.1% to 4.3%) of men; and types 6/11 in 4.7% (95% CI 1.8% to 5.9%) of women and 2.2% (95% CI 1.5% to 3.1%) of men. In multivariate analysis, HR-HPV was associated with new partner numbers, in women with younger age, single status and partner concurrency, and in men with number of partners without using condom(s) and age at first intercourse.
Conclusions
HPV DNA was detectable in urine of a high proportion of the sexually active British population. In both genders, HR-HPV was strongly associated with risky sexual behaviour. The minority of HPV infections were of vaccine types. It is important to monitor HPV prevalence and type distribution following the introduction of vaccination of girls.
doi:10.1136/sextrans-2011-050306
PMCID: PMC3308471  PMID: 22261135
Human papillomavirus; genital warts; sexually transmitted infection; epidemiology; sexual practices; sexual behaviour; risk behaviours; heterosexuals; sexual health; HPV; virology HIV; virology general laboratory; laboratory diagnosis; genital infection; chlamydia; std surveillance; women's issues; std control; epidemiology; cervix; chlamydia
25.  Predictors of human papillomavirus infection in women undergoing routine cervical cancer screening in Spain: the CLEOPATRE study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:145.
Background
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection that may lead to development of precancerous and cancerous lesions of the cervix. The aim of the current study was to investigate socio-demographic, lifestyle, and medical factors for potential associations with cervical HPV infection in women undergoing cervical cancer screening in Spain.
Methods
The CLEOPATRE Spain study enrolled 3 261 women aged 18–65 years attending cervical cancer screening across the 17 Autonomous Communities. Liquid-based cervical samples underwent cytological examination and HPV testing. HPV positivity was determined using the Hybrid Capture II assay, and HPV genotyping was conducted using the INNO-LiPA HPV Genotyping Extra assay. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify putative risk factors for HPV infection.
Results
A lifetime number of two or more sexual partners, young age (18–25 years), a history of genital warts, and unmarried status were the strongest independent risk factors for HPV infection of any type. Living in an urban community, country of birth other than Spain, low level of education, and current smoking status were also independent risk factors for HPV infection. A weak inverse association between condom use and HPV infection was observed. Unlike monogamous women, women with two or more lifetime sexual partners showed a lower risk of infection if their current partner was circumcised (P for interaction, 0.005) and a higher risk of infection if they were current smokers (P for interaction, 0.01).
Conclusion
This is the first large-scale, country-wide study exploring risk factors for cervical HPV infection in Spain. The data strongly indicate that variables related to sexual behavior are the main risk factors for HPV infection. In addition, in non-monogamous women, circumcision of the partner is associated with a reduced risk and smoking with an increased risk of HPV infection.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-145
PMCID: PMC3447664  PMID: 22734435
HPV infection; Prevalence; Risk factors; Sexual behavior; Questionnaire; Spain

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