Description of a Pilot Anal Pap Smear Screening Program Among Individuals Attending a Veteran's Affairs HIV Clinic

Published: March 31, 2011


Despite the higher risk of anal cancer among HIV-infected individuals currently there are no national or international guidelines for anal dysplasia screening. We assessed acceptance and feasibility of screening for anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN), the rate of abnormalities, and relationship between the presence of AIN and a history of receptive anal intercourse. Eighty-two percent of HIV-patients approached during routine clinic visit agreed to participate in the study with anal Pap smear collection; 53% had abnormal cytology results and among those undergoing high-resolution anoscopy with biopsy, 55% had high-grade AIN, including 2 cases of carcinoma in situ. Anal cytology was well accepted and it was feasible to be incorporated into HIV primary care practice. Abnormal cytology was not significantly associated with history of anal intercourse (p = 0.767). The high rate of abnormal results reinforces the need for further evaluation of the role of systematic anal Pap smear screening for HIV patients.

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