Background: The incidence of anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN) and anal cancer is increased in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM). Persistent high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is an important etiologic agent.
Methods: In this study, a group of 250 HIV-positive MSM was included to determine the prevalence of AIN and to investigate the role of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), high-risk HPV, and other risk factors possibly associated with this prevalence.
Results: Among patients included, 108 (43.2%) had lesions suspicious for AIN. Histologic analyses showed AIN 1 in 24 patients (22.2%), AIN 2 in 6 patients (5.6%), and AIN 3 in 10 patients (9.3%). In multivariable analyses, the use of HAART was associated with the absence of AIN (P = 0.045). In MSM without HAART, HPV infection was detected significantly more often compared with those who used HAART (P = 0.010). AIN was associated with HPV types 16 and 6.
Conclusions: In this cross-sectional study in 250 HIV-positive MSM, the use of HAART was associated with lower prevalence of AIN and a significantly lower prevalence of HPV. This association between the prevalence of AIN and the absence of HAART may contribute to the current debate on when to start HAART in HIV-infected individuals.