BACKGROUND. In Africa, data on the relationship between oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) types, immune status and cervical
preinvasive lesions are lacking.
METHODS. We investigated low-risk (lrHPV) and high-risk (hrHPV) HPV types in a cohort of women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
(CIN) II/III confirmed on histological examination, in an urban setting with a high prevalence of HIV infection.
RESULTS. Of 270 women with confirmed CIN II/III, 45 were HIV-negative and 225 HIV-positive. HIV-infected women had significantly
more HPV type infections, including all HPV (p<0.001) and hrHPV (p=0.014) types. The prevalences of one or more hrHPV type/s
were 93.3% and 92.9% in HIV-negative and positive patients, respectively. The most prevalent hrHPV type among HIV-negative women
was HPV 16, followed by HPV 52, 31, 35 and 58. Among HIV-positive women, HPV 16 was followed by HPV 58, 35, 51 and 52. Not yet
qualifying for highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) (CD4 count >350 cells/μL) or having received HAART for ≥12 months were
negatively associated with HPV 18, 33, 45, 51, 52, 59 and 82.
CONCLUSIONS. In South Africa, burdened by the HIV pandemic, high numbers of high- and low-risk HPV type infections are present in
women with cervical preneoplasia. HPV type distribution differs among varying levels of HIV-induced immune depletion.