Distribution of Human Papillomavirus Genotypes in Anal Cytological and Histological Specimens from HIV-Infected Men Who Have Sex with Men and Men Who Have Sex with Women

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Anal cancer is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Moreover, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is an additional risk factor for anal cancer. Therefore, when designing preventive protocols for HIV-infected men, it is important to detect high-risk (HR) oncogenic HPV genotypes present in their anal canals. However, most studies have focused only on men who have sex with men (MSM).


To estimate the prevalence of HPV and describe its genotype distribution using anal cytology and histology specimens from HIV-infected populations of MSM and men who have sex with women (MSW).


Crosssectional study of the CARH·MEN cohort.


Single-center prospective cohort of HIV-infected men attending the Outpatient HIV Clinic of Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol (Spain), where they undergo annual screening for HPV infection of the anus, penis and mouth.


Four hundred eighty-three HIV-infected men (341 MSM, 142 MSW) with no current or previous history of anal condylomata.


HPV genotypes detected (multiplex-PCR), cytology results (Papanicolaou test) and histology results (biopsy-based).


Cytological abnormalities were detected in 40% of MSM (129/321; 95%CI, 35–46) and 20% of MSW (26/131; 95%CI, 13–28) (OR=2.7; 95%CI, 1.7–4.4). All high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) were positive for HR-HPV in both groups. High-resolution anoscopy was performed in 146 patients (120 MSM, 26 MSW) with abnormal cytological diagnoses. Lesions were visualized in 80 MSM (67%) and 14 MSW (54%) (OR=1.7 [95%CI, 0.7–4.0]). Histological diagnosis was anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN)-1 in 51 MSM (64%) and 6 MSW (43%), AIN-2 in 9 MSM (11%) and 3 MSW (21%), AIN-3 in 7 MSM (9%) and 1 MSW (7%), and normal in 13 MSM (16%) and 4 MSW (29%). HPV16 was the most prevalent HR genotype.


Study limitations include its crosssectional design.


Anal cancer screening should be offered to all HIV-infected men, regardless of their sexual orientation.

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