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We performed a systematic review and meta-analyses to estimate the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in breast carcinoma and to explore the reasons for the ongoing controversies about this issue.A comprehensive search of the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, CANCERLIT, LILACS, and EMBASE databases was performed for papers published from January 1990 to January 2011. The medical subject heading terms were searched for the following: breast neoplasm, breast lesions, breast cancer, and HPV or human papillomavirus. Statistical analysis was performed using REVMAN 5.0.Twenty-nine primary studies, including 2211 samples, were analyzed. Overall, HPV prevalence in patients with breast cancer was 23.0% (95% CI, 21.2%–24.8%). The prevalence of HPV ranged from 13.4% (95% CI, 10.2%–16%) in Europe to 42.9% (95% CI, 36.4%–49.4%) in North America and Australia. The prevalence of HPV in controls was 12.9%. Combinations of 9 case-control studies showed that breast cancer was associated with HPV (odds ratio, 5.9; 95% CI, 3.26–10.67).We found a high prevalence of HPV DNA in breast cancer. There is strong evidence to suggest that HPV has an important role in the development of breast cancer.