Prevalence of papillomavirus in anal pap smears of Dominican men having sex with men (MSM)

Published: August 1, 2008

Prevalence of papillomavirus in anal pap smears of Dominican men having sex with men (MSM)

Background: Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are among the most prevalent sexually transmitted viruses and certain strains have been associated with carcinoma of the cervix, penis and/or anus. From 1998-2005 only 26 cases of anal carcinoma were registered in the only Dominican oncological institute with 7 in men and 19 in women.
The HIV epidemic has brought attention to this illness and new techniques permit the detection of the causal agent before clinical signs appear.

Materials: A cohort of 27 MSM who defined themselves as sex-workers were invited to participate in a preliminary study of the presence of papillomavirus in anal pap smears. All but two of the participants were also HIV (+) and all were in a drug rehab center. Standard procedure for pap smear was done using cytobrushes and wet prep containers. PCR was performed at a local laboratory using Roche reagents.

Results: Of the 27 men in the study, 21 (77%) had a positive PCR for highly oncogenic HPV. Of two HIV (-) men, one was positive for HPV and the other indeterminate. The men ranged in age from 20 to 47 years with CD4+ cell counts evenly divided between those <350 cells/ul and those with >350 cells/ul. Forty-five episodes of STDs were reported, though only 1/3 recognized the presence of condyloma caused by HPV.

Conclusion: The detection of highly oncogenic HPV in Dominican MSM suggests that this pathology could become more prevalent in coming years. Knowledge of the virus’ presence will allow closer monitoring of these individuals to permit early detection of cancer.

-Abstract available at link below-

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