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26 Mar 2019 - 28 Mar 2019
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Individual HPV Types Linked to HIV Infection

By Labmedica International staff writers
Posted on 15 Oct 2018
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Image: The LINEAR ARRAY HPV Genotyping Test is used for the detection of 37 high- and low-risk human papillomavirus genotypes (Photo courtesy of Roche Diagnostics).
Image: The LINEAR ARRAY HPV Genotyping Test is used for the detection of 37 high- and low-risk human papillomavirus genotypes (Photo courtesy of Roche Diagnostics).
Although it is known that individuals living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have a higher human papilloma virus (HPV) prevalence, the impact of individual HPV types on HIV acquisition is less clear.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease (STI) worldwide among all sexually active adults and affects approximately 50% of HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM), which may include transgender women (TW) because the groups are often erroneously combined.

An international team of scientists led by those at University of California, Riverside (Riverside, CA, USA) recruited for a cohort study 600 participants, both MSM and TW in Peru, to examine the relationship between anogenital warts and HIV acquisition. Inclusion criteria were: born anatomically male, aged 18 to 40 years, HIV-negative, had anal intercourse with a male in the past 12 months, resident of metropolitan Lima, and willing to provide blood samples and anal swabs.

The team collected anogenital specimens at the baseline visit using pre-wetted Dacron swabs from the coronal sulcus or glans penis, penile shaft, anus, and scrotum, combined into one sample per participant, and stored at -80 °C. DNA was extracted using the QIAamp Media MDx Kit followed by polymerase chain reaction and HPV genotyping. Samples positive for β-globin or at least one HPV genotype were considered adequate and included in the analysis (overall β-globin positivity = 98%). The Roche Linear Array assay was used to detect 37 HPV genotypes.

The scientists reported that at baseline, 530 participants had HPV DNA present (61.1% with high-risk HPV, 84.9% with low-risk HPV). Among 571 participants who returned for any study visit, 73 (12.8%) became infected with HIV during the 2-year follow-up (6% HIV incidence). Compared to those without HIV, statistically significantly more participants with HIV had any HPV type present (97.3% versus 87.6%, respectively), more than one HPV type (79.5% versus 58.2%), or high-risk HPV (72.6% versus 51.4%). Some participants lost to follow-up could have been HIV-positive, which would have affected the relationship of HPV and HIV infection.

The authors concluded that their prospective study showed that participants with any HPV type, more than one HPV type, or high-risk HPV were more likely to test positive for HIV. Although most studies have shown HPV–HIV coinfection, their findings illustrate the strong relationship between individual HPV types and HIV infection. This further illustrates the potential utility of HPV vaccine for MSM and TW, not only for HPV prevention but also possibly for HIV prevention. The study was published on October 2, 2018, in the journal PLOS ONE.

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University of California, Riverside

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