Prevalence and Determinants of High-Risk Human Papillomavirus Infection in Women From a Sub-Saharan African Community

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Sexually transmitted diseases (Impact Factor: 2.84). 12/2010; 38(4):308-15. DOI: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e3181fc6ec0
Source: PubMed


Human papillomavirus infection with high-risk types (HR-HPV) is a necessary cause of cervical cancer, the most common malignancy among sub-Saharan African women. Little is known about prevalence of cervical HR-HPV infection in this region.
A cross-sectional study of 1528 women examined the determinants of HR-HPV infection among women in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Information was collected on sociodemographic, reproductive, lifestyle characteristics, and health-seeking behaviors. Cervical samples were tested for HPV-DNA by Hybrid Capture 2. Unconditional logistic regression identified predictors of HPV positivity.
HR-HPV prevalence was 12.5% in all women and 8.7% in women with normal cytology. Prevalence was highest (18.3%) in individuals <35 years of age and gradually decreased with age. Excess HR-HPV infection risk was observed in women who were smokers (odds ratio [OR] = 1.60; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.11-2.31), divorced/separated (OR = 1.60; 95% CI: 1.11-2.32), in polygamous marriages (OR = 1.28; 95% CI: 0.90-1.82), using medical contraceptives (OR = 2.40; 95% CI: 1.20-4.80), and who preferred male physicians (OR = 1.90; 95% CI: 1.20-3.05). A statistically marginal increase was found in women whose partners had sex with prostitutes (OR = 2.40; 95% CI: 0.72-8.01). A higher standard of living was associated with reduced risk.
HR-HPV positivity was associated with behavioral and sexual characteristics thought to affect risk of new infections and immune function. However, HPV prevalence did not correlate with numbers of sex partners, possibly because of a high HPV infection rate per sexual contact or because subjects were older than 30 years. Our study should assist in designing strategies for control of cervical cancer in this low-resource, high cervical cancer risk setting in sub-Saharan Africa.

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    • "The few papers [17,18] that exist on cervical cancer in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) indicate that cervical cancer is the most frequent gynaecological cancer. A national program for early detection and treatment of high-grade lesions does not exist. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cervical cancer is the most frequent cancer of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Nevertheless, the level of women's awareness about cervical cancer is unknown. Knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) are important elements for designing and monitoring screening programs. The study purpose was to estimate KAP on cervical cancer and to identify associated factors. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Kinshasa, DRC, including 524 women aged 16-78 years (median age 28; interquartile range 22-35). The women were interviewed at home by trained field workers using a standardized questionnaire. The women's score on knowledge, attitude and practice were dichotomized as sufficient or insufficient. We used binary and multiple logistic regression to assess associations between obtaining sufficient scores and a series of socio-demographic factors: age, residence, marital status, education, occupation, religion, and parity. The women's score on knowledge was not significantly correlated with their score on practice (Spearman's rho = 0.08; P > 0.05). Obtaining a sufficient score on knowledge was positively associated with higher education (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 7.65; 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 3.31-17.66) and formal employment (adjusted OR 3.35; 95%CI 1.85-6.09); it was negatively associated with being single (adjusted OR 0.44; 95%CI 0.24-0.81) and living in the eastern, western and northern zone of Kinshasa compared to the city centre. The attitude score was associated with place of residence (adjusted OR for east Kinshasa: 0.49; 95%CI 0.27-0.86 and for south Kinshasa: 0.48; 95%CI 0.27-0.85) and with religion (adjusted OR 0.55; 95%CI 0.35-0.86 for women with a religion other than Catholicism or Protestantism compared to Catholics). Regarding practice, there were negative associations between a sufficient score on practice and being single (adjusted OR 0.24; 95%CI 0.13-0.41) and living in the eastern zone of the city (adjusted OR 0.39; 95%CI 0.22-0.70). Although 84% of women had heard about cervical cancer, only 9% had ever had a Papanicolaou (Pap) smear test. This study shows a low level of knowledge, attitude and practice on cervical cancer among women in Kinshasa. Increasing women's awareness would be a first step in the long chain of conditions to attain a lower incidence and mortality.
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    ABSTRACT: We compared the screening performance of conventional Pap cytology and two human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA assays, the original Hybrid Capture 2 (HC2) and an expanded version that tests for 4 additional HPV types (HC2+4; Qiagen Corporation), in the detection of cervical neoplasia among unscreened women in a primary care setting in a suburb of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. All women 30 years or older residing in the area were invited to participate, and 1528 were evaluated by Pap cytology and the two HPV assays, conducted at a European and US reference laboratory, respectively, followed by colposcopy. Cervical biopsies were obtained from all women with abnormal colposcopy and from 290 randomly chosen women with normal colposcopy (to correct for verification bias). Using a relative light unit of 1 as the cutoff for positivity, 169 and 168 (11%) women tested positive using HC2 and HC2+4, respectively. HC2 and HC2+4 were in agreement in 98.6% of cases (Kappa=0.94; 95% confidence interval: 0.91-0.96). Both assays were sensitive (~83%) and specific (~91%) for the detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia-2 or worse disease. Irrespective of the cutoff point used to define positivity, Pap cytology was both less sensitive and more specific than HC2 or HC2+4. For instance, cytology was 63% sensitive and 97% specific when a cutoff point of low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions or worse was used. Among unscreened women, HC2 and HC2+4 had similar screening accuracy for cervical neoplasia, and both were more sensitive but less specific than Pap cytology.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2011 · Gynecologic Oncology
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives We measured the prevalence and incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in young female subjects recruited for a safety and immunogenicity trial of the bivalent HPV-16/18 vaccine in Tanzania. Methods Healthy HIV negative female subjects aged 10–25 years were enrolled and randomised (2:1) to receive HPV-16/18 vaccine or placebo (Al(OH)3 control). At enrolment, if sexually active, genital specimens were collected for HPV DNA, other reproductive tract infections and cervical cytology. Subjects were followed to 12 months when HPV testing was repeated. Results In total 334 participants were enrolled; 221 and 113 in vaccine and control arms, respectively. At enrolment, 74% of 142 sexually active subjects had HPV infection of whom 69% had >1 genotype. Prevalent infections were HPV-45 (16%), HPV-53 (14%), HPV-16 (13%) and HPV-58 (13%). Only age was associated with prevalent HPV infection at enrolment. Among 23 girls who reported age at first sex as 1 year younger than their current age, 15 (65.2%) had HPV infection. Of 187 genotype-specific infections at enrolment, 51 (27%) were present at 12 months. Overall, 67% of 97 sexually active participants with results at enrolment and 12 months had a new HPV genotype at follow-up. Among HPV uninfected female subjects at enrolment, the incidence of any HPV infection was 76 per 100 person-years. Conclusions Among young women in Tanzania, HPV is highly prevalent and acquired soon after sexual debut. Early HPV vaccination is highly recommended in this population.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Sexually transmitted infections
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