To determine the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in our inner-city indigent population (clinic population) of women with previously normal Pap tests and to identify any associated risk factors.
Materials and Methods.
A prospective cohort of 187 women between the ages of 15 and 49 years, with previously normal Pap tests, was recruited from a university affiliated outpatient clinic. A demographic questionnaire of social and sexual history was elicited, and ThinPrep cytology (Cytyc, Marlborough, MA) and HPV Digene Hybrid Capture II results (Digine, Gaithersburg, MD) were obtained.
The prevalence of HPV in our primarily Hispanic clinic population was 21%. The mean age of women with HPV was 28.9 years and those without were 32.1 years (p <.046). In women with HPV, 24% had abnormal Pap tests, whereas in those without HPV, 5% had abnormal Pap tests (p <.001). Women who were older and parous were less likely to have HPV (7.5%; p <.024). The presence of HPV was not influenced by sexual behaviors, sexually transmitted diseases, smoking, race, or contraceptive use.
The prevalence of HPV in an inner-city indigent population, despite previously normal cytology, was consistent with earlier reported rates of HPV. Our data suggest that younger, nulliparous women have a high prevalence of HPV.