Introducing a high-risk HPV DNA test into a public sector screening program in El Salvador

Miriam L. Cremer, Mauricio Maza, Karla M. Alfaro, Jane J. Kim, Lauren R. Ditzian, Sofia Villalta, Todd A. Alonzo, Juan C. Felix, Philip E. Castle, Julia C. Gage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A pilot program introducing HPV testing as part of a public sector screening program was successfully and effectively implemented in a low-resource setting. Objective In a primary human papillomavirus (HPV) screening program, we compared the 6-month follow-up among colposcopy and noncolposcopy-based management strategies for screen-positive women. Materials and Methods Women aged 30 to 49 years were screened with HPV DNA tests using both self-collection and provider collection of samples. Women testing positive received either (1) colposcopy management (CM) consisting of colposcopy and management per local guidelines or (2) screen-and-treat (ST) management using visual inspection with acetic acid to determine cryotherapy eligibility, with eligible women undergoing immediate cryotherapy. One thousand women were recruited in each cohort. Of these, 368 (18.4%) of 2000 women were recruited using a more intensive outreach strategy. Demographics, HPV positivity, and treatment compliance were compared across recruitment and management strategies. Results More women in the ST cohort received treatment within 6 months compared with those in the CM cohort (117/119 [98.3%] vs 64/93 [68.8%]; p <.001). Women recruited through more intensive outreach were more likely to be HPV positive, lived in urban areas, were more educated, and had higher numbers of lifetime sexual partners and fewer children. Conclusions Women in the CM arm were less likely to complete care than women in the ST arm. Targeted outreach to underscreened women successfully identified women with higher prevalence of HPV and possibly higher disease burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-150
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of lower genital tract disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Care HPV
  • Cervical cancer
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Latin America
  • Screening program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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