Background: The integration of HPV-16 DNA into the host genome is considered an important event in the progression of premalignant cervical lesions to cervical cancer. The aim of our study was to assess the prevalence of HPV-16 integration in anal cytologic specimens of HIV-1 infected men and its association with risk factors.
Patients Methods: This cross-sectional study included 269 HIV-infected males. Detection and typing of HPV-infection was done by multiplex PCR, and integration of HPV-16 by real-time PCR.
Results: The overall anal HPV-infection prevalence was 78% (209/269), 29% (77/269) for HPV-16 infection, and 9% (25/269) for HPV-16 integration. In HPV-16 infected group, the integration prevalence represented 32% (25/77). The only risk factor associated with HPV-16 integration was the time since HIV diagnosis (OR = 1.2, 95% CI: 1.0–1.3; P = 0.010). The risk factors associated with abnormal cytology results were: HPV infection (OR = 17.8, 95% CI: 6.8–46.6), HPV-16 infection (OR = 4.6, 95% CI: 2.5–8.4), and presence of HPV-16 integrated forms (OR = 11.7, 95% CI: 1.5–93.5). Moreover, in the multivariate analysis, the HPV-16 integration continued representing the most important risk factor (OR = 20, 95% CI: 1.6–226) for anal cytologic abnormalities.
Conclusion: HPV-16 infection and its integration in anal cells were highly prevalent in HIV-infected men. The assessment of HPV-16 integration rather than HPV-infection could be a good biomarker for predicting anal precancerous lesions in HIV-positive men.