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Oncol Lett. 2011 Jul;2(4):701-706. Epub 2011 Apr 6.

Prevalence of human papillomavirus in university young women.

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  • 1Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Tarapac√°, Arica.


Cervical cancer is the second most prevalent female cancer worldwide. The majority of cases appear between the age of 30 and 50. Human papillomavirus (HPV) plays a central role in cervical cancer with 99.7% of HPV DNA identified in invasive cervical carcinomas. The prevalence of the HPV infection varies substantially among countries and according to age and lifestyle. HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection among males and females with a 70% higher incidence in sexually active females. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of human papillomavirus in young university women by analyzing the correlation between Papanicolaou (PAP)-stained cervical tests and HPV detection by genotyping, as well as other risk factors. A total of 200 women aged between 18 and 25 years were enrolled in this study, which took place between September 2008 and May 2009 at the Universidad de Tarapac√°, Arica, Chile. Results of the PAP smears showed that 97.5% of cells had normal characteristics, although an inflammatory pattern was noted. The prevalence of generic HPV infection was 3.5% when testing for HPV DNA using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. An analysis of the genotype of infected female individuals indicated that high-risk HPV types, such as HPV 16 and 31 were present in 42.84 and 14.29% of females, respectively, and low-risk types such as HPV 6, in 14.29%. Only one sample with differentiated non-HPV (14.29%) was found. A 95% correlation between PAP-stained cervical tests and the method of testing for HPV was observed. Using the PCR method, it was found that of the 195 negative PAP smears, 5 were positive for HPV and two of the samples that were positive for ASC-US were also positive. A significantly increased (P<0.05) HPV infection risk was observed in the 18-21 age group with a higher prevalence (71.40%) when compared to the 22-25 age group (28.6%). A significant (P<0.042) difference was found between smoking and HPV infection. In conclusion, a significant (P<0.05) correlation was found between PAP and PCR methods for HPV testing in young university women. A significant correlation between smoking and HPV was detected, whereas no difference was noted with other parameters.

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