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1.  Comparison of Human Papillomavirus Detections in Urine, Vulvar, and Cervical Samples from Women Attending a Colposcopy Clinic 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2014;52(1):187-192.
While urine-based sampling for human papillomavirus (HPV) is being explored as a simple and noninvasive approach for cervical cancer screening, data comparing HPV genotyping in urine and those in cellular sampling of the cervix and vulva, and their correlation with rigorously confirmed cervical disease status, are sparse. We performed HPV genotyping on voided-urine and clinician-collected vulvar and cervical samples from 72 women undergoing colposcopy. Although urine-based HPV carcinogenic HPV detection was lower (58.3%) than cervical (73.6%) and vulvar (72.1%) detection (P = 0.05 and 0.07, respectively), the agreement of urine HPV with cervical and vulvar HPV was moderate (kappa = 0.55) and substantial (kappa = 0.62), respectively. Urine-based carcinogenic HPV detection had a clinical sensitivity of 80.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 60.7 to 93.5) and a specificity of 53.3% (95% CI = 37.9 to 68.3) for diagnosing cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grades 2/3 (CIN2/3) on histology; 90.0% of CIN3 was positive for urine HPV. The corresponding sensitivity and specificity values for vulvar sampling were 92% (95% CI = 74 to 99) and 40.5% (95% CI = 25.6 to 56.7), and those for cervical sampling were 96.2% (95% CI = 80.4 to 99.9) and 40% (95% CI = 25.7 to 55.7), respectively. HPV16 was the most common carcinogenic genotype detectable in 25% of urine, 33.8% of vulvar, and 31.9% of cervical samples overall, with prevalence increasing with cervical disease grade, regardless of the sampling method. Stronger cervical HPV PCR signal strengths were associated with increased frequency of urine HPV detection. In summary, the relatively lower detection rates but comparable clinical performance of urine-based HPV sampling underscore the need for larger studies to evaluate urine-based sampling for cervical cancer screening, epidemiologic studies, and postvaccination HPV disease surveillance.
doi:10.1128/JCM.01623-13
PMCID: PMC3911475  PMID: 24197879
2.  The Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Among Individuals With Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome in the United States 
Cancer  2012;118(24):6226-6233.
BACKGROUND
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a concern among individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
METHODS
The authors analyzed population-based registry linkage data from the US HIV/AIDS Cancer Match Study (1980–2009) to examine the risk and trends of HCC among individuals with AIDS. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were used to measure HCC risk relative to the general population, and Poisson regression was used to calculate incidence rate ratios (RR) comparing incidence among individuals with AIDS. People with AIDS were categorized according to their HIV risk group into high and low hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence groups based on their HIV transmission risk category.
RESULTS
Among 615,150 individuals with AIDS, HCC risk was elevated almost 4 times compared with the risk in the general population (N = 366; SIR, 3.8; 95% confidence interval, 3.5–4.3). Although HCC incidence increased steadily across calendar periods (Ptrend < .0001; adjusted for sex and age), the excess risk in individuals with AIDS compared with the general population remained somewhat constant (SIRs range, 3.5–3.9) between the monotherapy/dual therapy era (1990–1995) and the recent highly active antiretroviral therapy era (2001–2009). In a multivariate model adjusting for sex, race/ethnicity, and attained calendar period, HCC incidence increased with advancing age (Ptrend < .0001) and was associated with HIV risk groups with a known higher prevalence of HCV (adjusted RR, 2.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.8–2.8).
CONCLUSIONS
HCC incidence in individuals with AIDS has increased over time despite improved HIV treatment regimens, likely reflecting prolonged survival with chronic liver disease. The high incidence in older adults suggests that this cancer will increase in importance with aging of the HIV-infected population.
doi:10.1002/cncr.27694
PMCID: PMC3965349  PMID: 22736272
hepatocellular carcinoma; human immunodeficiency virus; acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; epidemiology; hepatitis C virus
3.  Human Papillomavirus Genotype Attribution and Estimation of Preventable Fraction of Anal Intraepithelial Neoplasia Cases Among HIV-Infected Men Who Have Sex With Men 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;207(3):392-401.
Background. The prevention of human papillomavirus (HPV)–induced anal cancer in high-risk populations such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) remains an urgent priority, given rising incidence rates despite widespread antiretroviral therapy use.
Methods. HPV genotypes and anal disease prevalence, by cytology and histopathologic findings, were evaluated among 363 HIV-infected MSM. We modeled fractions of high-grade anal intraepithelial neoplasia (HGAIN) attributable to individual carcinogenic HPV genotypes and estimated the range of the proportion of HGAIN cases potentially preventable by prophylactic HPV vaccines.
Results. HPV16 was the most common genotype overall (26.4% of cases) and among HGAIN cases (55%). Prevalence of multiple (≥2) carcinogenic HPV genotypes increased from 30.9% in cases of AIN grade <1 to 76.3% in cases of AIN grade 3 (Ptrend < .001). The fractions of HGAIN cases attributable to carcinogenic HPV16/18 targeted by currently licensed bivalent and quadrivalent HPV vaccines ranged from 12% to 61.5%, and the fractions attributable to carcinogenic HPV16/18/31/33/45/52/58 targeted by an investigational nonavalent HPV vaccine ranged from 39% to 89.4%.
Conclusions. Our analytical framework allows estimation of HGAIN cases attributable to individual HPV genotypes in the context of multiple concurrent HPV infections, which are very common among HIV-infected MSM. Our results suggest that licensed and investigational HPV prophylactic vaccines have the potential to prevent a substantial proportion of HGAIN cases in this population.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jis694
PMCID: PMC3537447  PMID: 23162133
Anal cancer; human papillomavirus; human immunodeficiency virus; anal intraepithelial neoplasia; men who have sex with men; genotypes; attribution
4.  Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug Use, Chronic Liver Disease, and Hepatocellular Carcinoma 
Background
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been shown to reduce chronic inflammation and risk of many cancers, but their effect on risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and death due to chronic liver disease (CLD) has not been investigated.
Methods
We analyzed prospective data on 300504 men and women aged 50 to 71 years in the National Institutes of Health–AARP Diet and Health Study cohort and linked self-reported aspirin and nonaspirin NSAID use with registry-confirmed diagnoses of HCC (n=250) and death due to CLD (n=428, excluding HCC). We calculated hazard rate ratios (RRs) and their two-sided 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using Cox proportional hazard regression models with adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, diabetes, and body mass index. All tests of statistical significance were two-sided.
Results
Aspirin users had statistically significant reduced risks of incidence of HCC (RR = 0.59; 95% CI = 0.45 to 0.77) and mortality due to CLD (RR = 0.55; 95% CI = 0.45 to 0.67) compared to those who did not use aspirin. In contrast, users of nonaspirin NSAIDs had a reduced risk of mortality due to CLD (RR = 0.74; 95% CI= 0.61 to 0.90) but did not have lower risk of incidence of HCC (RR = 1.08; 95% CI = 0.84 to 1.39) compared to those who did not use nonaspirin NSAIDs. The risk estimates did not vary in statistical significance by frequency (monthly, weekly, daily) of aspirin use, but the reduced risk of mortality due to CLD was statistically significant only among monthly users of nonaspirin NSAIDs compared to non-users.
Conclusions
Aspirin use was associated with reduced risk of developing HCC and of death due to CLD whereas nonaspirin NSAID use was only associated with reduced risk of death due to CLD.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djs452
PMCID: PMC3514167  PMID: 23197492
6.  Utilization of Cervical Cancer Screening Services and Trends in Screening Positivity Rates in a ‘Screen-And-Treat’ Program Integrated with HIV/AIDS Care in Zambia 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74607.
Background
In the absence of stand-alone infrastructures for delivering cervical cancer screening services, efforts are underway in sub-Saharan Africa to dovetail screening with ongoing vertical health initiatives like HIV/AIDS care programs. Yet, evidence demonstrating the utilization of cervical cancer prevention services in such integrated programs by women of the general population is lacking.
Methods
We analyzed program operations data from the Cervical Cancer Prevention Program in Zambia (CCPPZ), the largest public sector programs of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa. We evaluated patterns of utilization of screening services by HIV serostatus, examined contemporaneous trends in screening outcomes, and used multivariable modeling to identify factors associated with screening test positivity.
Results
Between January 2006 and April 2011, CCPPZ services were utilized by 56,247 women who underwent cervical cancer screening with visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA), aided by digital cervicography. The proportion of women accessing these services who were HIV-seropositive declined from 54% to 23% between 2006–2010, which coincided with increasing proportions of HIV-seronegative women (from 22% to 38%) and women whose HIV serostatus was unknown (from 24% to 39%) (all p-for trend<0.001). The rates of VIA screening positivity declined from 47% to 17% during the same period (p-for trend <0.001), and this decline was consistent across all HIV serostatus categories. After adjusting for demographic and sexual/reproductive factors, HIV-seropositive women were more than twice as likely (Odds ratio 2.62, 95% CI 2.49, 2.76) to screen VIA-positive than HIV-seronegative women.
Conclusions
This is the first ‘real world’ demonstration in a public sector implementation program in a sub-Saharan African setting that with successful program scale-up efforts, nurse-led cervical cancer screening programs targeting women with HIV can expand and serve all women, regardless of HIV serostatus. Screening program performance can improve with adequate emphasis on training, quality control, and telemedicine-support for nurse-providers in clinical decision making.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074607
PMCID: PMC3776830  PMID: 24058599
7.  Comparison of visual inspection with acetic acid and cervical cytology to detect high-grade cervical neoplasia among HIV-infected women in India 
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women in India and other developing country settings are living longer on antiretroviral therapy, yet their risk for human papillomavirus (HPV)-induced cervical cancer remains unabated because of lack of cost-effective and accurate secondary prevention methods. Visual inspection after application of dilute acetic acid on the cervix (VIA) has not been adequately studied against the current standard: conventional cervical cytology (Pap smears) among HIV-infected women. We evaluated 303 nonpregnant HIV-infected women in Pune, India, by simultaneous and independent screening with VIA and cervical cytology with disease ascertainment by colposcopy and histopathology. At the cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN2+) disease threshold, the sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive value estimates of VIA were 80, 82.6, 47.6 and 95.4% respectively, compared to 60.5, 59.6, 22.4 and 88.7% for the atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance or severe (ASCUS+) cutoff on cytology, 60.5, 64.6, 24.8 and 89.4% for the low-grade squamous intraepithelial cells or severe (LSIL+) cutoff on cytology and 20.9, 96.0, 50.0 and 86.3% for high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion or severe (HSIL+) cutoff on cytology. A similar pattern of results was found for women with the presence of carcinogenic HPV-positive CIN2+ disease, as well as for women with CD4+ cell counts <200 and <350 µL−1. Overall, VIA performed better than cytology in this study with biologically rigorous endpoints and without verification bias, suggesting that VIA is a practical and useful alternative or adjunctive screening test for HIV-infected women. Implementing VIA-based screening within HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome care programs may provide an easy and practical means of complementing the highly anticipated low-cost HPV-based rapid screening tests in the near future, thereby contributing to improve program effectiveness of screening.
doi:10.1002/ijc.25971
PMCID: PMC3516675  PMID: 21387289
cervical cancer; visual inspection; cytology; screening; HIV/AIDS; India
8.  Improving diagnostic capability for HPV disease internationally within the NIH-NIAID-Division of AIDS Clinical Trial Networks 
Objectives
To evaluate an external quality assurance (EQA) program for the laboratory diagnosis of human papillomavirus (HPV) disease that was established to improve international research capability within the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease–supported Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group network.
Methods
A three-component EQA scheme was devised comprising assessments of diagnostic accuracy of cytotechnologists and pathologists using available EQA packages, review of quality and accuracy of clinical slides from local sites by an outside expert, and HPV DNA detection using the commercially available HPV test kit.
Results
Seven laboratories and 17 pathologists in Africa, India, and South America participated. EQA scores were suboptimal for standard packages in three of seven laboratories. There was good agreement between the local laboratory and the central reader 70% of the time (90% confidence interval, 42%-98%). Performance on the College of American Pathologists’ HPV DNA testing panel was successful in all laboratories tested.
Conclusions
The prequalifying EQA round identified correctable issues that will improve the laboratory diagnosis of HPV related cervical disease at the international sites and will provide a mechanism for ongoing education and continuous quality improvement.
doi:10.1309/AJCPIBIS19QIYHJY
PMCID: PMC4017200  PMID: 24225757
External Quality Assurance; EQA; HPV; cervical pathology; cervical cytology; histopathology; HPV DNA testing
9.  eC3—A Modern Telecommunications Matrix for Cervical Cancer Prevention in Zambia 
Journal of lower genital tract disease  2010;14(3):10.1097/LGT.0b013e3181cd6d5e.
Objectives
Low physician density, undercapacitated laboratory infrastructures, and limited resources are major limitations to the development and implementation of widely accessible cervical cancer prevention programs in sub-Saharan Africa.
Materials and Methods
We developed a system operated by nonphysician health providers that used widely available and affordable communication technology to create locally adaptable and sustainable public sector cervical cancer prevention program in Zambia, one of the world’s poorest countries.
Results
Nurses were trained to perform visual inspection with acetic acid aided by digital cervicography using predefined criteria. Electronic digital images (cervigrams) were reviewed with patients, and distance consultation was sought as necessary. Same-visit cryotherapy or referral for further evaluation by a gynecologist was offered. The Zambian system of “electronic cervical cancer control” bypasses many of the historic barriers to the delivery of preventive health care to women in low-resource environments while facilitating monitoring, evaluation, and continued education of primary health care providers, patient education, and medical records documentation.
Conclusions
The electronic cervical cancer control system uses appropriate technology to bridge the gap between screening and diagnosis, thereby facilitating the conduct of “screen-and-treat” programs. The inherent flexibility of the system lends itself to the integration with future infrastructures using rapid molecular human papillomavirus–based screening approaches and wireless telemedicine communications.
doi:10.1097/LGT.0b013e3181cd6d5e
PMCID: PMC3809081  PMID: 20592550
cervical cancer; visual inspection; telemedicine; developing countries; Zambia
10.  Human papillomavirus and cervical cancer: biomarkers for improved prevention efforts 
Future microbiology  2011;6(9):10.2217/fmb.11.87.
While organized screening programs in industrialized countries have significantly reduced cervical cancer incidence, cytology-based screening has several limitations. Equivocal or mildly abnormal Pap tests require costly retesting or diagnostic work-up by colposcopy and biopsy. In low-resource countries, it has been difficult to establish and sustain cytology-based programs. Advances in understanding human papillomavirus biology and the natural history of human papillomavirus-related precancers and cancers have led to the discovery of a range of novel biomarkers in the past decade. In this article, we will discuss the potential role of new biomarkers for primary screening, triage and diagnosis in high-resource countries and their promise for prevention efforts in resource constrained settings.
doi:10.2217/fmb.11.87
PMCID: PMC3809085  PMID: 21958146
accuracy; biomarkers; cervical cancer; HPV; prevention; risk prediction; screening
11.  HPV Prevalence and Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia among HIV-infected Women in Yunnan Province, China: A Pilot Study 
Objectives
To determine the prevalence of HPV and cervical neoplasia among HIV-infected women in southwestern China.
Methods
Cervical cytology, HPV detection by Hybrid Capture-2™ assay, and diagnostic colposcopy were followed by cervical biopsy if indicated. Logistic regression analysis was used to analyze associations between HPV co-infection and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), and HIV-related clinical and laboratory parameters.
Results
Colposcopic-histopathologically proven CIN2+ lesions were present in 7/83 (8.4%) HIV-infected women. Nearly half (41/83, 43%) were co-infected with carcinogenic HPV genotypes. HPV co-infection was higher in women with colposcopic-histopathologically proven CIN2+ lesions than women with
Conclusions
HIV/AIDS care and treatment programs should integrate effective cervical cancer prevention services to mitigate the risk of invasive cervical cancer among HIV-infected women in China.
PMCID: PMC3809115  PMID: 22502720
China; HIV/AIDS; HPV; cervical cancer; screening; prevention
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e72565.
Background
The species Alphapapillomavirus 7 (alpha-7) contains human papillomavirus genotypes that account for 15% of invasive cervical cancers and are disproportionately associated with adenocarcinoma of the cervix. Complete genome analyses enable identification and nomenclature of variant lineages and sublineages.
Methods
The URR/E6 region was sequenced to screen for novel variants of HPV18, 39, 45, 59, 68, 70, 85 and 97 from 1147 cervical samples obtained from multiple geographic regions that had previously been shown to contain an alpha-7 HPV isolate. To study viral heterogeneity, the complete 8 kb genome of 128 isolates, including 109 sequenced for this analysis, were annotated and analyzed. Viral evolution was characterized by constructing phylogenic trees using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian algorithms. Global and pairwise alignments were used to calculate total and ORF/region nucleotide differences; lineages and sublineages were assigned using an alphanumeric system. The prototype genome was assigned to the A lineage or A1 sublineage.
Results
The genomic diversity of alpha-7 HPV types ranged from 1.1% to 6.7% nucleotide sequence differences; the extent of genome-genome pairwise intratype heterogeneity was 1.1% for HPV39, 1.3% for HPV59, 1.5% for HPV45, 1.6% for HPV70, 2.1% for HPV18, and 6.7% for HPV68. ME180 (previously a subtype of HPV68) was designated as the representative genome for HPV68 sublineage C1. Each ORF/region differed in sequence diversity, from most variable to least variable: noncoding region 1 (NCR1) / noncoding region 2 (NCR2) > upstream regulatory region (URR) > E6 / E7 > E2 / L2 > E1 / L1.
Conclusions
These data provide estimates of the maximum viral genomic heterogeneity of alpha-7 HPV type variants. The proposed taxonomic system facilitates the comparison of variants across epidemiological and molecular studies. Sequence diversity, geographic distribution and phylogenetic topology of this clinically important group of HPVs suggest an independent evolutionary history for each type.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072565
PMCID: PMC3745470  PMID: 23977318
The annual worldwide burden of the preventable disease cervical cancer is over 530,000 new cases and 275,000 deaths, with the majority occurring in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where cervical cancer screening and early treatment are uncommon. Widely used in high-income countries, Pap smear (cytology-based) screening is expensive and challenging for implementation in LMICs, where lower-cost, effective alternatives such as visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and rapid human papillomavirus (HPV)-based screening tests offer promise for scaling up prevention services. Integrating HPV screening with VIA in “screen-and-treat-or-refer”’ programs offers the dual benefits of HPV screening to maximize detection and using VIA to triage for advanced lesions/cancer, as well as a pelvic exam to address other gynecologic issues. A major issue in LMICs is co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and HPV, which further increases the risk for cervical cancer and marks a population with perhaps the greatest need of cervical cancer prevention. Public-private partnerships to enhance the availability of cervical cancer prevention services within HIV/AIDS care delivery platforms through initiatives such as Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon® present an historic opportunity to expand cervical cancer screening in LMICs.
doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-11-0540
PMCID: PMC3586242  PMID: 22158053
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e38731.
Background
The distribution of HPV genotypes, their association with rigorously confirmed cervical precancer endpoints, and factors associated with HPV infection have not been previously documented among HIV-infected women in India. We conducted an observational study to expand this evidence base in this population at high risk of cervical cancer.
Methods
HIV-infected women (N = 278) in Pune, India underwent HPV genotyping by Linear Array assay. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) disease ascertainment was maximized by detailed assessment using cytology, colposcopy, and histopathology and a composite endpoint.
Results
CIN2+ was detected in 11.2% while CIN3 was present in 4.7% participants. HPV genotypes were present in 52.5% (146/278) and ‘carcinogenic’ HPV genotypes were present in 35.3% (98/278) HIV-infected women. ‘Possibly carcinogenic’ and ‘non/unknown carcinogenic’ HPV genotypes were present in 14.7% and 29.5% participants respectively. Multiple (≥2) HPV genotypes were present in half (50.7%) of women with HPV, while multiple ‘carcinogenic’ HPV genotypes were present in just over a quarter (27.8%) of women with ‘carcinogenic’ HPV. HPV16 was the commonest genotype, present in 12% overall, as well as in 47% and 50% in CIN2+ and CIN3 lesions with a single carcinogenic HPV infection, respectively. The carcinogenic HPV genotypes in declining order of prevalence overall included HPV 16, 56, 18, 39, 35, 51, 31, 59, 33, 58, 68, 45 and 52. Factors independently associated with ‘carcinogenic’ HPV type detection were reporting ≥2 lifetime sexual partners and having lower CD4+ count. HPV16 detection was associated with lower CD4+ cell counts and currently receiving combination antiretroviral therapy.
Conclusion
HPV16 was the most common HPV genotype, although a wide diversity and high multiplicity of HPV genotypes was observed. Type-specific attribution of carcinogenic HPV genotypes in CIN3 lesions in HIV-infected women, and etiologic significance of concurrently present non/unknown carcinogenic HPV genotypes await larger studies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038731
PMCID: PMC3378535  PMID: 22723879
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e20183.
Background
Human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16) species group (alpha-9) of the Alphapapillomavirus genus contains HPV16, HPV31, HPV33, HPV35, HPV52, HPV58 and HPV67. These HPVs account for 75% of invasive cervical cancers worldwide. Viral variants of these HPVs differ in evolutionary history and pathogenicity. Moreover, a comprehensive nomenclature system for HPV variants is lacking, limiting comparisons between studies.
Methods
DNA from cervical samples previously characterized for HPV type were obtained from multiple geographic regions to screen for novel variants. The complete 8 kb genomes of 120 variants representing the major and minor lineages of the HPV16-related alpha-9 HPV types were sequenced to capture maximum viral heterogeneity. Viral evolution was characterized by constructing phylogenic trees based on complete genomes using multiple algorithms. Maximal and viral region specific divergence was calculated by global and pairwise alignments. Variant lineages were classified and named using an alphanumeric system; the prototype genome was assigned to the A lineage for all types.
Results
The range of genome-genome sequence heterogeneity varied from 0.6% for HPV35 to 2.2% for HPV52 and included 1.4% for HPV31, 1.1% for HPV33, 1.7% for HPV58 and 1.1% for HPV67. Nucleotide differences of approximately 1.0% - 10.0% and 0.5%–1.0% of the complete genomes were used to define variant lineages and sublineages, respectively. Each gene/region differs in sequence diversity, from most variable to least variable: noncoding region 1 (NCR1) /noncoding region 2 (NCR2) >upstream regulatory region (URR)> E6/E7 > E2/L2 > E1/L1.
Conclusions
These data define maximum viral genomic heterogeneity of HPV16-related alpha-9 HPV variants. The proposed nomenclature system facilitates the comparison of variants across epidemiological studies. Sequence diversity and phylogenies of this clinically important group of HPVs provides the basis for further studies of discrete viral evolution, epidemiology, pathogenesis and preventative/therapeutic interventions.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020183
PMCID: PMC3103539  PMID: 21673791
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(5):e1001032.
Groesbeck Parham and colleagues describe their Cervical Cancer Prevention Program in Zambia, which has provided services to over 58,000 women over the past five years, and share lessons learned from the program's implementation and integration with existing HIV/AIDS programs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001032
PMCID: PMC3096609  PMID: 21610859
Increasing numbers of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women are now accessing life-prolonging highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in developing countries. There is a need for better understanding of interactions of human papillomavirus (HPV) and HIV, especially in the context of increasing life expectancy due to HAART. The data regarding the impact of HAART on reducing the incidence and progression and facilitating the regression of HPV infection and cervical abnormalities is largely inconsistent. Published studies differ in their study designs (prospective or retrospective cohorts or record linkage studies), screening and diagnostic protocols, duration and type of HAART use, recruitment and referral strategies, and definitions of screening test and disease positivity. Due to the ethical and resource limitations in conducting randomized trials of the impact of HAART on incidence of HPV, CIN, and cervical cancer among HIV-infected women, it is important to consider innovative study designs, including quasi-experimental trials and operations research in sentinel populations to answer the critical research questions in this area.
doi:10.1186/1750-9378-5-8
PMCID: PMC2881893  PMID: 20462441
PLoS ONE  2010;5(1):e8634.
Background
Prevalence estimates of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) among HIV-infected women in India have been based on cervical cytology, which may have underestimated true disease burden. We sought to better establish prevalence estimates and evaluate risk factors of CIN among HIV-infected women in Pune, India using colposcopy and histopathology as diagnostic tools.
Methodology
Previously unscreened, non-pregnant HIV-infected women underwent cervical cancer screening evaluation including standardized diagnostic colposcopy by a gynecologist. Histopathologic confirmation was conducted among consenting women with clinical suspicion of CIN. The prevalence of CIN was evaluated by a composite diagnosis based on colposcopy and histopathology results. Multivariable ordinal logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine independent predictors of increasing severity of CIN.
Results
The median age of the n = 303 enrolled HIV-infected women was 30 years (interquartile range, 27–34). A majority of the participants were widowed or separated (187/303, 61.7%), more than one-third (114/302, 37.7%) were not educated beyond primary school, and nearly two-thirds (196/301, 64.7%) had a family per capita income of <1,000 Indian Rupees (∼US$22) per month. Cervical high-risk HPV-DNA was detected in 41.7% (124/297) of participants. The composite colposcopic-histopathologic diagnoses revealed no evidence of CIN in 220 out of 303 (72.6%) women, CIN1 in 33/303 (10.9%), CIN2 in 31/303 (10.2%), CIN3 in 18/303 (5.9%) and 1 (0.3%) woman was diagnosed with ICC. Thus, over a quarter of the participants [83/303: 27.7% (95% CI: 22.7–33.1)] had ≥CIN1 lesions and a sixth [50/303: 16.5% (95% CI: 12.2–21.9)] had evidence of advanced (≥CIN2) neoplastic disease. The independent predictors of increasing severity of CIN as revealed by a proportional odds model using multivariable ordinal logistic regression included (i) currently receiving antiretroviral therapy [adjusted odds ratios (aOR): 2.24 (1.17, 4.26), p = 0.01] and (ii) presence of cervical high-risk HPV-DNA [aOR: 1.93 (1.13, 3.28), p = 0.02].
Conclusions
HIV-infected women in Pune, India have a substantial burden of cervical precancerous lesions, which may progress to invasive cervical cancer unless appropriately detected and treated. Increased attention should focus on recognizing and addressing this entirely preventable cancer among HIV-infected women, especially in the context of increasing longevity due to antiretroviral therapy.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008634
PMCID: PMC2798747  PMID: 20072610
Gynecologic oncology  2006;103(3):1017-1022.
Objectives
HIV-infected women living in resource-constrained nations like Zambia are now accessing antiretroviral therapy and thus may live long enough for HPV-induced cervical cancer to manifest and progress. We evaluated the prevalence and predictors of cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL) among HIV-infected women in Zambia.
Methods
We screened 150 consecutive, non-pregnant HIV-infected women accessing HIV/AIDS care services in Lusaka, Zambia. We collected cervical specimens for cytological analysis by liquid-based monolayer cytology (ThinPrep Pap Test®) and HPV typing using the Roche Linear Array® PCR assay.
Results
The median age of study participants was 36 years (range 23-49 years) and their median CD4+ count was 165/μL (range 7-942). The prevalence of SIL on cytology was 76% (114/150), of which 23.3% (35/150) women had low-grade SIL, 32.6% (49/150) had high-grade SIL, and 20% (30/150) had lesions suspicious for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). High-risk HPV types were present in 85.3% (128/150) women. On univariate analyses, age of the participant, CD4+ cell count, and presence of any high-risk HPV type were significantly associated with the presence of severely abnormal cytological lesions (i.e., high-grade SIL and lesions suspicious for SCC). Multivariable logistic regression modeling suggested the presence of any high-risk HPV type as an independent predictor of severely abnormal cytology (adjusted OR: 12.4, 95% CI 2.62-58.1, p=0.02).
Conclusions
The high prevalence of abnormal squamous cytology in our study is one of the highest reported in any population worldwide. Screening of HIV-infected women in resource-constrained settings like Zambia should be implemented to prevent development of HPV-induced SCC.
doi:10.1016/j.ygyno.2006.06.015
PMCID: PMC2748907  PMID: 16875716
HIV; Cervical Cancer; Screening; Cytology; Zambia
Gynecologic oncology  2008;110(3):402-407.
Objective
We demonstrate the feasibility of implementing a referral and management system for cryotherapy-ineligible women in a “screen-and-treat” cervical cancer prevention program targeting HIV-infected women in Zambia.
Methods
We established criteria for patient referral, developed a training program for loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) providers, and adapted LEEP to a resource-constrained setting.
Results
We successfully trained 15 nurses to perform visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) followed by immediate cryotherapy. Women with positive tests but ineligible for cryotherapy were referred for further evaluation. We trained four Zambian physicians to evaluate referrals, perform punch biopsy, LEEP, and manage intra-operative and post-operative complications. From January 2006 through October 2007, a total of 8823 women (41.5% HIV seropositive) were evaluated by nurses in outlying prevention clinics; of these, 1477 (16.7%) were referred for physician evaluation based on established criteria. Of the 875 (59.2% of 1147 referred) that presented for evaluation, 748 (8.4% of total screened) underwent histologic evaluation in the form of punch biopsy or LEEP. Complications associated with LEEP included anesthesia reaction (n=2) which spontaneously resolved, intra-operative (n=12) and post-operative (n=2) bleeding managed by local measures, and post-operative infection (n=12) managed with antibiotics.
Conclusion
With adaptations for a resource-constrained environment, we have demonstrated that performing LEEP is feasible and safe, with low rates of complications that can be managed locally. It is important to establish referral and management systems using LEEP-based excisional evaluation for women with cryotherapy-ineligible lesions in VIA-based “screen-and-treat” protocols nested within HIV-care programs in resource-constrained settings.
doi:10.1016/j.ygyno.2008.04.031
PMCID: PMC2745977  PMID: 18556050
Cervix; Cancer; Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP); HIV; Zambia
Synopsis
Prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has proven effective in reducing HIV infection when treatment is available promptly for symptomatic persons in conditions of an emerging infection. Biologically, it is assumed that reduced genital tract inflammation reduces infectiousness for HIV as well as reducing susceptibility in HIV-uninfected persons. Other strategies may not work however, such as periodic mass chemotherapy for STIs. Male circumcision has been demonstrated effective in reducing risk for HIV infection in three separate trials from South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda. Global expansion of STI treatment and male circumcision programs is a vital tool for control of HIV infection; current research priorities are presented.
doi:10.1016/j.idc.2007.03.005
PMCID: PMC2700301  PMID: 17502238
HIV; AIDS; prevention; sexually transmitted infections; circumcision; public health
The Institute for Global Health at Vanderbilt enables the expansion and coordination of global health research, service, and training, reflecting the university's commitment to improve health services and outcomes in resource-limited settings. Global health encompasses both prevention via public health and treatment via medical care, all nested within a broader community-development context. This has fostered university-wide collaborations to address education, business/economics, engineering, nursing, and language training, among others. The institute is a natural facilitator for team building and has been especially helpful in organizing institutional responses to global health solicitations from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and other funding agencies. This center-without-walls philosophy nurtures noncompetitive partnerships among and within departments and schools. With extramural support from the NIH and from endowment and developmental investments from the school of medicine, the institute funds new pilot projects to nurture global educational and research exchanges related to health and development. Vanderbilt's newest programs are a CDC-supported HIV/AIDS service initiative in Africa and an overseas research training program for health science graduate students and clinical fellows. New opportunities are available for Vanderbilt students, staff, and faculty to work abroad in partnership with international health projects through a number of Tennessee institutions now networked with the institute. A center-without-walls may be a model for institutions contemplating strategic investments to better organize service and teaching opportunities abroad, and to achieve greater successes in leveraging extramural support for overseas and domestic work focused on tropical medicine and global health.
doi:10.1097/ACM.0b013e318160b76c
PMCID: PMC2564795  PMID: 18303361

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