Genital Tract HIV RNA Levels and Their Associations with Human Papillomavirus Infection and Risk of Cervical Pre-Cancer.

Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)

PubMedID: 24694931

Ghartey J, Kovacs A, Burk RD, Massad LS, Minkoff H, Xie X, D'Souza G, Xue X, Watts DH, Levine AM, Einstein MH, Colie C, Anastos K, Eltoum IE, Herold BC, Palefsky JM, Strickler HD. Genital Tract HIV RNA Levels and Their Associations with Human Papillomavirus Infection and Risk of Cervical Pre-Cancer. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2014;.
OBJECTIVE:
Plasma HIV RNA levels have been associated with risk of human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical neoplasia in HIV-seropositive women. However, little is known regarding local genital tract HIV RNA levels and their relation with cervical HPV and neoplasia.

DESIGN/METHODS:
In an HIV-seropositive women's cohort with semi-annual follow-up, we conducted a nested case-control study of genital tract HIV RNA levels and their relation with incident high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions sub-classified as severe (severe HSIL), as provided for under the Bethesda 2001 classification system. Specifically, 66 incident severe HSIL were matched to 130 controls by age, CD4+ count, HAART use, and other factors. We also studied HPV prevalence, incident detection, and persistence in a random sample of 250 subjects.

RESULTS:
Risk of severe HSIL was associated with genital tract HIV RNA levels (odds ratio comparing HIV RNA = the median among women with detectable levels versus undetectable [ORVL] 2.96; 95% CI:0.99-8.84; Ptrend=0.03). However, this association became non-significant (Ptrend=0.51) following adjustment for plasma HIV RNA levels. There was also no association between genital tract HIV RNA levels and the prevalence of any HPV or oncogenic HPV. However, the incident detection of any HPV (Ptrend=0.02) and persistence of oncogenic HPV (Ptrend=0.04) were associated with genital tract HIV RNA levels, after controlling plasma HIV RNA levels.

CONCLUSION:
These prospective data suggest that genital tract HIV RNA levels are not a significant independent risk factor for cervical pre-cancer in HIV-seropositive women, but leave open the possibility that they may modestly influence HPV infection, an early stage of cervical tumoriogenesis.