PURPOSE: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of macroscopic anal lesions and associated factors in HIV-infected outpatients during the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy.
METHODS: A randomly selected sample of patients with HIV-infection receiving follow-up care in the infectious diseases department of Bichat University Hospital was invited to participate in a systematic screening program consisting of anal examination with anoscopy and a standardized questionnaire.
RESULTS: Of 516 patients, 473 (92 percent) participated. Overall, 208 patients (44 percent) had at least one anal macroscopic lesion: 108 patients (22.8 percent) had human papilloma (HPV)-related lesions (condyloma with or without dysplasia), 67 (14.2 percent) had hemorrhoidal disease, 50 (10.6 percent) had anal fissures, and 44 (9.3) percent had other anal lesions. Independent significantly associated factors for anal condyloma were history of anal condyloma (OR, 2.09) and median number of episodes of sexual intercourse per month (OR, 1.03) in men who have sex with men; history of genital condyloma (OR, 26.74), and unprotected sexual intercourse (OR, 7.47) in heterosexual men; and CD4 cell count below 200/mm3 (OR, 6.02), receptive anal intercourse (OR, 6.37), and history of anal condyloma (OR, 16.69) in women. Neither sexual behavior nor characteristics related to HIV infection were associated with hemorrhoidal disease or anal fissure.
CONCLUSIONS: Because patients with HIV infections have a high prevalence of unreported anal lesions that may be highly contagious, involve risk of anal neoplasia, or negatively affect quality of life, systematic anal screening should be conducted in the HIV-infected population.