n South African Medical Journal - Age-specific prevalence of cervical human papillomavirus infection and cytological abnormalities in women in Gauteng Province, South Africa : research




Women accessing the public health system in Gauteng province, South Africa are largely unscreened for cervical cancer and have a high background prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

This cross-sectional study describes the age-specific prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and cytological abnormalities among this urban and peri-urban population.
Over the period March 2009 - September 2011, 1 524 women attending public sector primary healthcare clinics were invited to participate in a cervical cancer screening study. All participants were screened with conventional cytology and HPV testing undertaken using the HPV linear array genotyping kit (Roche Molecular Systems).
Of 1 472 women with valid cytology results, abnormalities were detected in 17.3% (=255), of which 9.1% (=134) were high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, and 0.5% (=8) suggestive of squamous carcinoma. Of the 1 445 women with complete data, the overall and high-risk HPV DNA prevalences were 74.6% (=1 078) and 54.3% (=784), respectively. HPV type 16 and/or 18 were detected in 19.5% (=282) of women. Age-specific prevalence of HPV showed a plateau-shaped curve.
The prevalences of HPV infection and abnormal cytology were much higher than previously reported in general populations in South Africa and elsewhere. Higher age-specific prevalence and similar plateau-like age-specific epidemiological curves have previously only been described in studies among HIV-positive women. These findings have implications for planning and development of cervical screening programmes in developing countries with largely unscreened populations with a high background prevalence of HIV.


Article metrics loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error