Open Access Open Badges Research

The burden, distribution and risk factors for cervical oncogenic human papilloma virus infection in HIV positive Nigerian women

Oliver Chukwujekwu Ezechi12*, Per Olof Ostergren2, Francisca Obiageri Nwaokorie3, Innocent Achaya Otobo Ujah1 and Karen Odberg Pettersson2

Author Affiliations

1 Clinical Sciences Division, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Lagos, Nigeria

2 Division of Social Medicine and Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

3 Molecular Biology Division, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Lagos, Nigeria

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Virology Journal 2014, 11:5  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-11-5

Published: 15 January 2014



The expected reduction in cervical cancer incidence as a result of increased access to antiretroviral therapy is yet to be seen. In this study we investigated the effect of HIV infection and treatment on high-risk (hr) human papilloma virus (HPV) prevalence and distribution.


Cervical cells from 515 (220 HIV positive and 295 HIV negative) women, recruited during community cervical cancer screening programme in states of Ogun and Lagos and at the cervical cancer screen clinic, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research Lagos were evaluated for the presence of 13 hr HPV genotypes by polymerase chain reaction based assay.


The prevalence of high-risk HPV was 19.6% in the studied population. HPV 16 (3.9%), 35 (3.5%), 58 (3.3%) and 31 (3.3%) were the most common hr HPV infections detected. We observed that the prevalence of hr HPV was higher in HIV positives (24.5%) than 15.9% in HIV negative women (OR = 1.7; 95% CI: 1.1-2.7). A multivariate logistic regression analysis showed a lower hr HPV prevalence in HIV positive women on antiretroviral drugs (OR = 0.4; 95% CI: 0.3-0.5) and with CD4 count of 500 and above (OR = 0.7; 95% CI: 0.5-0.8). A higher prevalence of hr HPV was also noted in HIV positive women with CD4 count < 200 cells/mm3 (OR = 2.4; 95% CI: 1.7-5.9).


HPV 16, 35, 58 and 31 genotypes were the most common hr HPV infection in our study group, which could be regarded as high risk general population sample; with higher prevalence of HPV 16 and 35 in HIV positive women than in HIV negative women. The use of antiretroviral drugs was found to be associated with a lower prevalence of hr HPV infection, compared to those not on treatment. This study raises important issues that should be further investigated to enable the development of robust cervical cancer prevention and control strategies for women in our setting.

Human papilloma virus (HPV); Cervical cancer; HIV; Antiretroviral therapy