High-risk human papillomavirus prevalence in self-collected cervicovaginal specimens from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative women and women living with HIV living in Botswana

Philip E. Castle, John E. Varallo, Margaret Mary Bertram, Bakgaki Ratshaa, Moses Kitheka, Kereng Rammipi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background The prevalence of high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) is poorly described overall and in women living with HIV (WLWH) and HIV-negative women living in Botswana, a high HIV and cervical cancer-burden country. We conducted a pilot study of self-collection and highrisk HPV testing for cervical screening, from which data on HPV prevalence was available. Methods From five health facilities in the Kweneng East District, 1,022 women aged 30-49 years were enrolled to self-collect their cervicovaginal specimen for hrHPV testing by the Xpert HPV Test (Cepheid, Sunnyvale, CA, USA). Crude and age group-adjusted hrHPV prevalence by HIV status were calculated, and the relationship of hrHPV risk groups HPV16>HPV18/45>other hrHPV types) to the presence and severity of visible lesions. Results Of the 1,022 women enrolled, 1,019 (99.7%), 570 WLWH and 449 HIV-negative women, had hrHPV testing results. Crude hrHPV prevalences were 25.2% (95%CI = 21.2-29.4%) for HIV-negative women and 40.4% (95%CI = 36.3-44.5%) for WLWH. Age group-adjusted hrHPV prevalences were 23.7% (95%CI = 19.9-27.9%) for HIV-negative women and 41.3% (95%CI = 37.2-45.4%) for WLWH. Age group-adjusted prevalences of HPV16 (p<0.001), HPV18/45 (p<0.001), HPV31/33/35/52/58 (p<0.001), and HPV39/56/66/68 (p = 0.011) were greater among WLWH than HIV-negative women. Riskier hrHPV groups were more likely to have visible abnormalities (ptrend = 0.004) and visible abnormalities not eligible for cryotherapy (ptrend = 0.030). Conclusions hrHPV infection was common among all women in the study living in Botswana, to a greater extent in WLWH than their HIV-negative counterparts. Strategies to triage hrHPV-positive women will be needed to avoid over-treating many women with benign hrHPV infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0229086
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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