Natural History of Human Papillomavirus Infections Involving Anal, Penile, and Oral Sites Among HIV-Positive Men.

Published: December 20, 2012


The aim of this study was to characterize the natural history of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection at anal canal, penile, and oral sites in HIV-positive men based on their sexual behavior.

This is a single-center, prospective cohort study. The prevalence, clearance, and incidence of HPV infection at anal, penile, and oral sites were studied in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) and heterosexual individuals using multiplex polymerase chain reaction. Risk factors associated with HPV infection were analyzed.

In total, 733 patients (538 MSM, 195 heterosexual) were included in the study between 2005 and 2009. The prevalence, clearance, and incidence of HPV infection were 73%, 30%, and 36% at anal site; 26%, 56%, and 17% at penile site; and 16%, 44%, and 11% at oral site, respectively. At anal site, MSM had a higher HPV prevalence (84% vs. 42%; odds ratio,7.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 5.2-10.6) mainly for multiple (≥3) HPV types, higher incidence rate (324 vs. 92 new HPV-infected person per 1000 person-years [hazard ratio, 8.1; 95% CI, 3.8-17.3]), and a lower clearance rate (125 vs. 184 cleared HPV-infected person per 1000 person-years [hazard ratio, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.3-0.9]) than did heterosexuals. Similar prevalence, clearance, and incidence rates of penile and oral HPV infection were found between groups. The most common high-risk HPV type for the 3 body sites studied was the HPV-16. Finally, a similar proportion of heterosexuals (7%) and MSM (6%) presented concurrent HPV infections (anal-penile-oral sites). History of anal warts was associated with higher HPV prevalence in the 3 body parts.

Although MSM presented the highest risk of anal HPV infection, heterosexual men also showed a remarkable prevalence of anal HPV infection and a comparable risk to MSM for penile and oral HPV infection. Taking into account all these results, the careful inspection of the anal canal, penile, and oral sites should at least be routine in each clinic visit of HIV-infected men independently of their sexual behavior.

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