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Human Papillomavirus Infection and Its Relationship to Recent and Distant Sexual Partners

FAIRLEY, CHRISTOPHER K. MB, BS, FRACP; CHEN, SHUJUN MSc; UGONI, ANTONY BSc(Hons); TABRIZI, SEPEHR N. BSc, PhD; FORBES, ANDREW BSc, PhD; GARLAND, SUZANNE M. MB, BS, FRCPA
Obstetrics & Gynecology: November 1994
Original Article: PDF Only

Objective: To determine the relation between the detection of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA and the number of new sexual partners in the last year, 1-5 years, and 5-10 years.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 298 women collected tampon specimens and completed self-answer questionnaires on the known risk factors for HFV infection, including the number of sexual partners during the last 1, 5, and 10 years. The tampons were analyzed for the presence of HPV DNA by polymerase chain reaction using L1 consensus primers.

Results: Ninety-two (30.9%) tampons were positive for HPV DNA. In univariate analysis, the presence of HPV DNA was associated with a younger age, single marital status, a previously abnormal or currently abnormal Papanicolaou smear, and one or more new sexual partners in the last year, 1-5 years, and 5-10 years. The presence of HPV DNA was not associated with education level, past pregnancy, current or past oral contraceptive use, or the age at first intercourse. In multivariate analysis, only the number of sexual partners during the last year and 1-5 years, and a previously abnormal Papanicolaou smear were associated with HPV.

Conclusion: The presence of HPV DNA is best predicted by the number of new sexual partners in the last 5 years. Transiently detectable HPV DNA is one possible explanation for this observation.

© 1994 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists