Prevalence and Risk Factors for Neutralizing Antibodies to Human Papillomavirus Types 16 and 18 in HIV-Positive Men Who Have Sex With Men


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Abstract

Objective:Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is routinely recommended in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) aged ≤26 years. Levels of previous HPV exposure in older HIV-positive MSM are assumed to be too high to warrant routine HPV vaccination. However, little is known about the prevalence of and risk factors for neutralizing antibody seropositivity to HPV-16 or HPV-18, a key measure of previous exposure to these types.Methods:Cross-sectional analysis of baseline visit for 296 HIV-positive MSM participating in a prospective cohort study of anal squamous intraepithelial lesions at a university-based research clinic. Participants completed a questionnaire detailing behaviors and medical history. Phlebotomy, anal cytology, HPV DNA testing with quantitation, and high-resolution anoscopy with biopsy were performed. A pseudovirion-based neutralizing antibody assay was used to measure HPV-16 and HPV-18 neutralizing antibodies.Results:One hundred thirty-two of 296 (45%) men were HPV-16 seropositive and 141 of 296 (48%) were HPV-18 seropositive. One hundred seventy-five of 296 (59%) of the men were positive for HPV-16 antibodies or DNA and 167 of 296 (56%) were positive for HPV-18 antibodies or DNA. In multivariable analysis, HPV-16 seropositivity did not correlate with age, years of HIV positivity, CD4+ level, or HIV viral load. Significant risk factors included HPV-16 DNA positivity with higher DNA levels (ptrend < 0.001) and higher number of receptive sexual partners in the last year (ptrend = 0.012).Conclusions:A high proportion of HIV-positive MSM aged >26 years are DNA negative and seronegative to HPV-16 and HPV-18 even when using a sensitive pseudovirion-based neutralizing antibody assay. Prospective studies are needed to determine the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of HPV vaccination in HIV-positive MSM aged >26 years.

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