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Veteran Women Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus Have Increased Risk of Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-Associated Genital Tract Cancers.

Clark E, Chen L, Dong Y, Raychaudhury S, White D, Kramer JR, Chiao E. Veteran Women Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus Have Increased Risk of Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-Associated Genital Tract Cancers. Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. 2021 May 4; 72(9):e359-e366.

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BACKGROUND: Disparities in access to screening often confound observed differences in human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated female genital tract cancer (FGTC) incidence between women living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV; WLWH) and their HIV-negative counterparts. We aimed to determine if there have been changes in cancer risk among WLWH during the antiretroviral era in a single-payer health system. METHODS: We retrospectively selected WLWH and HIV-negative controls receiving care between 1999 and 2016 at the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and identified FGTC diagnoses via Cancer Registry and International Classification of Diseases-9/10 codes. We extracted demographic and clinical variables from the VA''s Corporate Data Warehouse; evaluated incidence rates (IRs), incidence rate ratios, hazard ratios, and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for cancer risk; and conducted survival analyses. RESULTS: We identified 1454 WLWH and compared them with 5816 matched HIV-negative controls. More WLWH developed HPV-associated FGTCs (total n = 28 [2.0%]; cervical = 22, vulvovaginal = 4, and anal/rectal = 2) than HIV-negative women (total n = 32 [0.6%]; cervical = 24, vulvovaginal = 5, and anal/rectal = 5) (log rank P < .0001). Cervical cancer IR was > 6-fold higher for WLWH (204.2 per 100 000 person-years [py] [95% CI, 83.8-324.7]) than HIV-negative women (IR = 31.2 per 100 000 py [95% CI, 17.9-44.5]). The IRs for vulvovaginal and anal cancers were also higher in WLWH. Overall, WLWH were more likely to develop HPV-associated FGTCs compared with their HIV-negative counterparts (all log rank P values < .0001). CONCLUSIONS: Veteran WLWH are more likely to develop HPV-associated FGTCs despite equal access to health care. Even in single-payer health systems, WLWH continue to require special attention to ensure guideline-based high-risk HPV screening for prevention of FGTCs.

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