There are very few data from men on the risk of HIV acquisition associated with penile human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and no data on the potential modifying effect of male circumcision. Therefore, this study evaluated whether HPV is independently associated with risk of HIV.
A cohort study of HPV natural history nested within a randomized control trial of male circumcision to reduce HIV incidence in Kisumu, Kenya.
Prospective data from 2519 men were analyzed using 6-month discrete-time Cox models to determine if HIV acquisition was higher among circumcised or uncircumcised men with HPV compared to HPV-uninfected men.
Risk of HIV acquisition was nonsignificantly increased among men with any HPV [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 1.72; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.94–3.15] and high-risk HPV (aHR 1.92; 95% CI 0.96–3.87) compared to HPV-uninfected men, and estimates did not differ by circumcision status. Risk of HIV increased 27% with each additional HPV genotype infection (aHR 1.27; 95% CI 1.09–1.48). Men with persistent (aHR 3.27; 95% CI 1.59–6.72) or recently cleared (aHR 3.05; 95% CI 1.34–6.97) HPV had a higher risk of HIV acquisition than HPV-uninfected men.
Consistent with the findings in women, HPV infection, clearance, and persistence were associated with an increased risk of HIV acquisition in men. Given the high prevalence of HPV in populations at risk of HIV, consideration of HPV in future HIV-prevention studies and investigation into mechanisms through which HPV might facilitate HIV acquisition are needed.