BACKGROUND: People living with HIV have high rates of anal human papillomavirus infection and anal precancer/cancer. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to: 1) determine human papillomavirus subtype distribution among people living with HIV with anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions; 2) compare the clinicopathological characteristics of patients with anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions by human papillomavirus 16 status; and 3) investigate high-risk human papillomavirus negative anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion cases. DESIGN: In this retrospective study, 700 people living with HIV who have biopsy-proven anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions were reviewed for demographics, cytological diagnoses, and human papillomavirus testing results for human papillomavirus 16, 18, and 12 other high-risk types. For human papillomavirus-negative subjects, corresponding biopsies were genotyped by using real-time polymerase chain reaction. SETTINGS: This study was conducted in a large urban HIV clinic system and major referral center for anal cancer screening. PATIENTS: Median age was 46 years (range, 20-76). Ninety-one percent of the patients were men who have sex with men. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome measure was the association between demographic variables and human papillomavirus 16 status. RESULTS: Anal cytology was unsatisfactory (5%), benign (13%), atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (35%), low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (36%), and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (11%). Human papillomavirus cotesting results were negative (n = 38, 5%), human papillomavirus 16 (n = 303, 43%), human papillomavirus 18 (n = 78, 11%), or exclusively non-16/18 types (n = 281, 40%). Human papillomavirus 16 positivity was associated with ≥3 high-grade lesions and ≥ low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion cytology (p < 0.001). Age, race/ethnicity, sex, smoking, CD4+ T-cell count, and HIV viral load did not differ by status of human papillomavirus 16 (p > 0.05). For human papillomavirus-negative cases, human papillomavirus genotyping of biopsies was positive for high-risk (n = 14, 36%) or possibly carcinogenic types (n = 12, 32%), or negative (n = 12, 32%). LIMITATIONS: This was a retrospective data analysis, and it pooled the results for 12 high-risk human papillomavirus types rather than individual types. CONCLUSIONS: Nearly all people living with HIV and anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions test positive for high-risk human papillomavirus on anal swabs; negative results may be due to sampling error, L1-based polymerase chain reaction assay, or human papillomavirus types not captured by standard clinical assays. Patients who have human papillomavirus 16-positive anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions are indistinguishable from others based on demographic and clinical characteristics, underscoring the potential role of human papillomavirus testing for anal cancer screening. See Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/DCR/B208.
- Anal cancer
- Anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions
- Human papillomavirus
- People living with human immunodeficiency virus
ASJC Scopus subject areas