Cervical Cancer Risk No Higher in Women with HIV
In a study that contributes to the discussion and debate regarding cervical cancer screening for HIV-positive women, researchers have found the risk of developing cervical cancer to be similar in women regardless of their HIV status as long as they are HPV negative and have normal cervical cytology.
The study, Risk of Cervical Pre-cancer and Cancer Among HIV-Infected Women With Normal Cervical Cytology and No Evidence of Oncogenic HPV Infection, was published in the latest issue of JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association.
“There has been substantial debate over the years regarding optimal screening studies for HIV-positive women,” said Joel Palefsky, MD, a study co-author and professor of Medicine at UCSF. “This study demonstrates that HIV-positive women considered to be at low risk of developing cervical cancer by virtue of having a normal cytology and being negative for an oncogenic HPV type, are no likelier to develop high-grade CIN than HIV-negative women.
“Use of HPV testing in conjunction with cytology may allow low-risk HIV-positive women to be screened at longer intervals than current recommendations, but changes in guidelines will require additional data from prospective studies,” Palefsky added.
Support for this research was provided by UCSF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), with some study visits managed through its Clinical Research Services program. Dr. Palefsky is also director of CTSI’s Clinical & Translational Research Fellows program.
UCSF's CTSI is a member of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards network funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health (Grant Number UL1 TR000004). Under the banner of Accelerating Research to Improve Health, CTSI provides a wide range of services for researchers, and promotes online collaboration and networking tools such as UCSF Profiles.
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