(HealthDay News) – For HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women with normal cytology who are negative for oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV), the incidence of cervical precancer or cancer is similar.

Marla J Keller, MD, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY, and colleagues examined the five-year cumulative incidence of cervical precancer or cancer, defined cytologically or histologically, in 420 HIV-infected and 279 HIV-uninfected women with a normal Papanicolaou test result at baseline who were negative for oncogenic HPV.

The researchers found that 88% of HIV-infected women and 91% of HIV-uninfected women with normal cervical cytology had no oncogenic HPV detected. During five years of follow-up there were two cases of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions or greater among these HPV-negative women (one in an HIV-uninfected women and one in an HIV-infected women with a CD4 count of ≥500 cells/µmL). Based on histologic data from four sites, there were six cases of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)-2 or greater in 145 HIV-uninfected women and nine cases in 219 HIV-infected women, for a cumulative incidence of 5% in both groups of women. CIN-3 was noted in one HIV-infected and one HIV-uninfected woman, but none had cancer.

“The current investigation highlights the potential for a new era of molecular testing, including HPV as well as other biomarkers, to improve cervical cancer screening in HIV-infected women,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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