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Title: Prevalence of high-risk human papillomavirus and abnormal pap smears in female sex workers compared to the general population in Antwerp, Belgium
Authors: Vorsters, Alex
Cornelissen, Tine
Leuridan, Elke
Bogers, Johannes
Broeck, Davy Vanden
Benoy, Ina H.
Goossens, Herman
HENS, Niel 
Van Damme, Pierre
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: Background: Although female sex workers (FSWs) are a well-known high-risk group for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infections, few tailored intervention programmes for HPV have been established worldwide. The lack of reliable data on the prevalence of HPV and related cervical lesions hampers the establishment of evidence-based intervention programmes. The objectives of this study were to describe the prevalence of high-risk Human Papillomavirus (hrHPV) infections and abnormal pap smears in FSWs compared to a control group in Antwerp, Belgium. Methods: HPV genotyping and cytology data were analysed from routine Pap smear tests that were collected from both FSWs and the general population (1334 samples for each group) between June 2006 and June 2010. Within the laboratory database, all FSWs were matched 1: 1 for age and testing date to determine the ORs of hrHPV genotypes, DNA and cytology outcome. Results: The prevalence of hrHPV DNA in FSWs was 41.7 % compared to 19.8 % in the age-matched controls with an overall OR of 2.8 (95 % CI: 2.3-3.4). Significant differences were observed in all age groups, and the most significant differences were observed in the cohort under 21 years of age (prevalence of 64.4 % in FSWs versus 14. 8 % in controls; OR 10.3 (95 % CI: 5.0-21.2). Significantly more cervical lesions were observed in FSWs, particularly in the 17- to 21-year old age group (OR for LSIL or HSIL: 10.3 (95 % CI: 3.2-33.8). In both groups, HPV 16 was the most prevalent at 12.1 and 6.6 % in the FSW and control groups, respectively. HPV 18 was the 8th and 7th most frequent genotype at 5.0 and 2.5 % in the FSW and control groups, respectively. Conclusions: FSWs have a significantly higher prevalence of hrHPV and more abnormal Pap smears than does the general population in Antwerp, Belgium. The hrHPV prevalence in FSWs is similar to that reported in the literature. The need for tailored intervention programmes should be investigated further.
Notes: [Vorsters, Alex; Leuridan, Elke; Van Damme, Pierre] Univ Antwerp, Vaccine & Infect Dis Inst VAXINFECTIO, Ctr Evaluat Vaccinat, Campus Drie Eiken,Univ Pl 1, B-2610 Antwerp, Belgium. [Cornelissen, Tine] Ghapro Vzw, Antwerp Hlth House Prostitut, Antwerp, Belgium. [Bogers, Johannes; Broeck, Davy Vanden; Benoy, Ina] Algemeen Med Lab, Emiel Vloorsstraat 9, B-2020 Antwerp, Belgium. [Bogers, Johannes; Broeck, Davy Vanden; Benoy, Ina] Univ Antwerp, Appl Mol Biol Res AMBIOR, B-2610 Antwerp, Belgium. [Bogers, Johannes; Broeck, Davy Vanden] Univ Ghent, Int Ctr Reprod Hlth, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium. [Goossens, Herman] Univ Antwerp, Vaccine & Infect Dis Inst, Lab Med Microbiol, B-2610 Antwerp, Belgium. [Goossens, Herman] Univ Antwerp Hosp, Clin Microbiol, Antwerp, Belgium. [Hens, Niel] Hasselt Univ, Interuniv Inst Biostat & Stat Bioinformat I BIOST, Hasselt, Belgium. [Hens, Niel] Univ Antwerp, Ctr Hlth Econ Res & Modeling Infect Dis, Vaccine & Infect Dis Inst VAXINFECTIO, B-2610 Antwerp, Belgium. [Hens, Niel] Univ Antwerp, Epidemiol & Social Med, B-2610 Antwerp, Belgium.
Keywords: Human papilloma virus; Female sex workers; Epidemiology; Cervical cancer; Prevention;human papilloma virus; female sex workers; epidemiology; cervical cancer; prevention
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e-ISSN: 1471-2458
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3099-5
ISI #: 000377169400002
Rights: © 2016 Vorsters et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validations: ecoom 2017
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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