Objectives: Although cervical cancer is an AIDS-defining illness, few HIV-infected women are routinely screened for cervical cancer in Thailand. We screened HIV-infected women for cervical cancer as a component of HIV care and assessed high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer prevalence.
Methods: From July 2003 through February 2004, HIV-infected women attending either an infectious disease clinic or a sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinic in Bangkok were tested for high-risk HPV types by Hybrid Capture 2 and screened for cervical cancer by Pap test; those with abnormal cervical cytology were referred for diagnosis and treatment.
Results: Two hundred ten HIV-infected women at an infectious disease clinic (n = 150) and an STI clinic (n = 60) received cervical cancer screening. The high-risk HPV prevalence was 38.6% and the prevalence of abnormal cervical cytology was 20.4%. Abnormal cervical cytology and high-risk HPV detection were associated (P < 0.001). We received pathology reports for 23 (53.5%) of 43 women, including all those with a Pap test showing high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions; the cervical cancer prevalence was 1.9% (4 of 210; 95% confidence interval, 0.5–4.8%).
Conclusion: The estimated prevalence of high-risk HPV and cervical cancer among HIV-infected women in Thailand was high. This emphasizes the need to integrate cervical cancer screening into HIV care.