Introital HPV Linked to HIV Progression.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The presence of human papillomavirus in the vaginal introitus of women recently diagnosed with HIV infection is associated with more advanced HIV infection, Steven S. Witkin, Ph.D., reported at the annual meeting of the International Infectious Disease Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology, USA.

A study of 55 newly diagnosed HIV-seropositive women also shows that introital human papillomavirus (HPV) detection is linked to an increased risk of cervical dysplasia, suggesting these patients warrant particularly frequent monitoring for cervical abnormalities, said Dr. Witkin of Cornell University, New York.

Using polymerase chain reaction, Dr. Witkin and associates found that 40% of the cohort had HPV at the introitus and endocervix, 29% had cervical HPV only, and the rest had no HPV detected.

Women with introital and cervical HPV had median CD4 cell counts of 354 cells/mL, compared with 520 cells/mL among women with cervical HPV only.

Those with introital plus endocervical HPV had higher HIV RNA levels.

Among women with HPV in the introitus and cervix, 27% had low- or high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions on Pap smears. Only 3% of those with just cervical HPV and none of the women without HPV had abnormal Pap smears.

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