PloS one 2017 10 0512(10) e0185423 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0185423
Persistent infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) is necessary for the development of precursor lesions and cervical cancer. HPV infection among women living with HIV/AIDS (WLHA) occurs more frequently, presents a higher rate of persistent infections and an earlier progression to cancer. We aimed to evaluate HR-HPV prevalence, incidence and clearance, and its association with HIV viral suppression, immunological response and other risk factors among WLHA followed at an STD/HIV reference center. This was a cohort study conducted at a reference center for STD/AIDS in Northeastern Brazil from September 2013 to September 2015. Follow-up visits were conducted at 6 and 12 months after enrolment, where socio-epidemiological data were obtained. Cervical samples were collected for conventional cytology and HPV DNA research (PCR COBAS® Roche) in addition to blood samples for CD4+ T lymphocyte count and HIV viral load. We prospectively evaluated 333 women. HR-HPV DNA prevalence was 33.3% at baseline. HPV-16 was present in 5.1%, HPV-18 in 3.9% and 29.4% WLHA had other HR-HPV (31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66 and 68). The HR-HPV incidence during the follow-up was 10.8%, at the 6-month visit was 7.7% and at the 12-month visit was 3.7%. Variables associated with HR-HPV incidence were: nulliparity, combined oral contraceptive use and detectable HIV viral load. The HR-HPV clearance rate was 41.7% and was associated with age >30 years and lymphocyte T CD4 count >500 cells/mm3 at enrolment. These findings contribute to the knowledge about a group of women that need more careful HPV screening and describe the association between an efficient immunological response and HIV viral suppression with lower incidence and increased clearance of HR-HPV.