Objective:Cervical cancer is a common preventable cancer among African women living with HIV (WLWH). Molecular diagnostics for high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) genotypes are standard components of cervical cancer screening in resource-rich countries but not in resource-limited settings. We evaluated HR-HPV genotypes among women with and without HIV in four African countries to inform cervical cancer preventive strategies.Methods:The African Cohort Study (AFRICOS) enrolled participants with and without HIV at 12 clinics in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria. Cervical cytobrush specimens from women were genotyped for 14 HR-HPV types using the multiplex Seegene Anyplex real-time PCR assay. Robust Poisson regression was used to estimate relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for factors associated with HR-HPV in WLWH.Results:From January 2015 to March 2020, 868 WLWH and 134 women living without HIV (WLWoH) were tested for HR-HPV with prevalence of 50.9 and 38.1%, respectively (P = 0.007). Among WLWH, 844 (97.4%) were antiretroviral therapy (ART)-experienced and 772 (89.7%) virally suppressed 1000 copies/ml or less. The most frequent HR-HPV types among WLWH were HPV-16 (13.5%), HPV-52 (9.5%), and HPV-35 (9.3%). HR-HPV infection was more common among Tanzanian WLWH (adjusted RR: 1.23, 95% CI 1.05-1.44, P = 0.012). Also, WLWH with CD4+T cells of less than 200 cell/μl had 1.51-fold increased risk of having HR-HPV (95% CI 1.23-1.86, P < 0.001).Conclusion:HR-HPV was common in WLWH in four African countries, particularly among women with low CD4+cell count. Scale up of HPV vaccines and development of vaccines with broader activity against less common HR-HPV types may improve cervical cancer prevention in Africa.
- antiretroviral therapy
- high-risk human papilloma virus
- uterine cervical neoplasms
- women living with HIV