Data on human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence are essential for developing cost-effective cervical cancer prevention programs.
In 2005, 710 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–positive and 226 HIV-negative Rwandan women enrolled in an observational prospective cohort study. Sociodemographic data, CD4+ cell counts, and cervical specimens were obtained. Cervicovaginal lavage specimens were collected from each woman and tested for >40 HPV types by a polymerase chain reaction assay; HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66, and 68 were considered primary carcinogenic HPV types.
The prevalence of HPV was higher in HIV-positive women than in HIV-negative women in all age groups. Among HIV-infected women, 69% were positive for ≥1 HPV type, 46% for a carcinogenic HPV type, and 10% for HPV-16. HPV prevalence peaked at 75% in the HIV-positive women aged 25–34 years and then declined with age to 37.5% in those ≥55 years old (Ptrend < .001). A significant trend of higher prevalence of HPV and carcinogenic HPV with lower CD4+ cell counts and increasing cytologic severity was seen among HIV-positive women.
We found a higher prevalence of HPV infection in HIV-positive than in HIV-negative Rwandan women, and the prevalence of HPV and carcinogenic HPV infection decreased with age.