Type-specific persistence, clearance and incidence of high-risk HPV among screen-positive Rwandan women living with HIV

Gad Murenzi, Patrick Tuyisenge, Faustin Kanyabwisha, Athanase Munyaneza, Benjamin Muhoza, Gallican Kubwimana, Anthere Murangwa, Leon Mutesa, Kathryn Anastos, Philip E. Castle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Persistent infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) is a critical step in cervical carcinogenesis. We report on type-specific hrHPV persistence, clearance and incidence among screen-positive Rwandan women living with HIV (WLWH). Methods: This was a nested analysis from a large cervical cancer screening study of ~ 5000 Rwandan WLWH. Women who tested positive for hrHPV and/or visual inspection with acetic acid were referred to colposcopy. For a subset of women (n = 298) who were ≥ 6 months delayed in receiving colposcopy, we tested their screening and colposcopy visit specimens using the AmpFire HPV genotyping assay that tests 14 hrHPV types (16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66, and 68) individually. Results: The mean, median (interquartile range [IQR]) and range of time between the screening and colposcopy visits were 644, 650 (490–820.5) and 197–1161 days, respectively. Mean, median (IQR) and range of age at the screening visit were 38, 37 (34–43) and 30–54 years, respectively. Two-hundred eighty-three (95.0%) had CD4 count (cells per mm3) data available at baseline with mean, median (IQR) and range of 592, 513 (346–717) and 0–7290, respectively. Two-hundred thirty-five WLWH were positive for at least one hrHPV type at the screening visit, of whom 50.2% had at least one HPV type-specific infection persist; 37.2% of all HPV infections detected at the screening visit persisted. Compared to all other HPV types in aggregate, HPV16 (vs. non-HPV16 types) (47.7%, p = 0.03) and HPV33 (vs. non-HPV33 types) (56.7%, p = 0.03) were significantly more likely, and HPV39 (vs. non-HPV39 types) (6.7%, p = 0.01), HPV51 (vs. non-HPV51 types) (15.6%, p < 0.01), and HPV66 (vs. non-HPV66 types (17.9%, p = 0.04) were significantly less likely, to persist. Lower CD4 counts were associated with having any persistent hrHPV infection (ptrend = 0.04) and multiple persistent hrHPV infections (ptrend = 0.04). Conclusion: There is a significant proportion of WLWH with persistent hrHPV infection, emphasizing the need to vaccinate them against HPV prior to becoming sexually active.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalInfectious Agents and Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV
  • HPV vaccine
  • Hr-HPV persistence
  • Incidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Infectious Diseases


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