Risk factors, prevalence, and site concordance of human papillomavirus in high-risk Greek men

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the risk factors, genotype-specific prevalence, and concordance of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections at three anatomical sites in a cohort of high-risk Greek men. Patients were recruited from sexually transmitted infection and HIV clinics in Athens. Samples were obtained from oral, penile, and anal sites of 294 study participants and HPV testing was performed on 882 samples using next-generation sequencing. Patients also completed a questionnaire assessing risk factors for infection. The mean age of the participants was 33.1, 30% identified as men who have sex with men (MSM), and 21% were HIV positive. The prevalence of HPV was 49%; it was the highest at anal sites (33%) compared with 23% at penile sites (P=0.008) and 4% at oral sites (P<0.001). The most common HPV types in order of frequency were 6, 44, 16, 53, and 89. The genotype concordance rate was the highest between the penile and anal sites (7%), followed by 2% for anal–oral concordance. Identifying as MSM [adjusted odds ratios (aOR)=6.75, P<0.001] and being HIV positive (aOR=2.89, P=0.026) were significant risk factors for anal HPV infection, whereas alcohol use (aOR=0.45, P=0.002) was associated negatively with infection. The only significant risk factor for oral infection was an older age of sexual debut (aOR=1.32, P=0.038). Nearly half of our study participants tested positive in at least one of three anatomical sites. Using next-generation sequencing, we could identify high-risk types that are not covered by the current vaccine and would be missed by traditional HPV testing kits.

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