Sexually Transmitted Infections 89 (5):350-356 (08..2013)
French researchers investigating the association of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) with HIV acquisition searched databases, including Medline, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane database and conference abstracts for studies published up to January 31, 2012. The researchers focused on finding studies conducted with humans that reported data on HIV incidence and determined the association of HIV with genital HPV infection.
The researchers found 2,170 articles and 431 conference proceedings. After removing duplicates and irrelevant material, they were left with 14 abstracts, eight of which they rejected for not meeting the inclusion criteria. They completed their final research with five nested cohort studies and one case-control study on association between genital HPV and HIV, with a total of 6,567 participants. Four studies focused on female subjects and two on male. All studies, except one with men who have sex with men, were conducted in sub-Saharan Africa with heterosexual adults; two of the African studies were among high-risk women—mostly sex workers. The researchers performed systematic review and meta-analysis on the studies as well as subgroup analyses for high-risk and low-risk oncogenic (cancer-causing) HPV risk groups.
All six studies reported significant estimates of the association of HPV with HIV incidence. Results showed that individuals with genital HPV infection, regardless of whether they were in a high- or low-risk oncogenic risk group, had twice the risk of acquiring HIV. The researchers suggested further research to determine the biological mechanisms involved and to assess the effect of HPV vaccination on HIV acquisition.