HPV testing for triage of HIV-infected women with papanicolaou smears read as atypical squamous cells of uncertain significance

L. Stewart Massad, Michael F. Schneider, D. Heather Watts, Howard D. Strickler, Sandra Melnick, Joel Palefsky, Kathryn Anastos, Alexandre M. Levine, Howard Minkoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess the utility of testing for high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA as a triage strategy for detecting cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade 2/3 in women with human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection and cytology read as atypical cells of uncertain significance (ASCUS). Methods: Conventional cervical cytology and cervicovaginal lavage were obtained at 6-month intervals between October 1, 1994, and September 30, 2002, from women enrolled in the Women's Interagency HIV Study, a multicenter cohort studying the natural history of HIV in women. HPV typing was performed by PCR. HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 32, 56, 58, 59, and 68 were classified as carrying high oncogenic risk. Women with ASCUS smears were referred for colposcopy. Analyses of the sensitivity of HPV testing were cross-sectional, using colposcopy results within 90 days of first ASCUS result. Results: Of the 270 women evaluated, 7 (3%) had CIN 2, and 3 (1%) had CIN3 or adenocarcinoma in situ. High-risk HPV DNA was found in 81 (30%) of the 270 participants. The sensitivity of high-risk HPV DNA detection for CIN 2/3 was 50% (95% CI 0.19, 0.81), the specificity was 71% (95% CI 0.65, 0.76), the positive predictive value was 6% (95% CI 0.01, 0.11), and the negative predictive value was 97% (95% CI 0.95, 1.00). HPV of any risk type was found in 176 (65%) of the 270 women, including 9 of 10 women with CIN 2/3, for a sensitivity of 90% (95% CI 0.56, 1.00), a specificity of 36% (95% CI 0.30, 0.42), a positive predictive value of 5% (95% CI 0.02, 0.08), and a negative predictive value of 99% (95% CI 0.94, 1.00). Conclusions: For women with HIV and Papanicolaou smears read as ASCUS, DNA testing for high risk HPV may not be sensitive enough for clinical use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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