Prevalence of high-risk human papillomavirus by RNA assay in home self-collected samples among underscreened people in North Carolina

Sexually Transmitted DiseasesLee F, Bukowski A, Spees LP, et al. | February 08, 2022


The risk of being underscreened for cervical cancer is found to be highest for low-income and uninsured people with a cervix (PWC). Researchers investigated high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) prevalence on home self-collected samples in this at-risk population and determined the rates of in-clinic follow-up and risk factors linked with hrHPV positivity.

  • My Body My Test 3 was carried out among individuals aged 25 to 64 years, overdue for cervical cancer screening, and with incomes of < 250% of the US Federal Poverty Level.

  • Participants randomized to the self-collection arm, who provided self-collected cervicovaginal brush samples for HPV testing (n = 329), formed the analytic sample.

  • Self-collected samples showed hrHPV RNA prevalence of 16% (n = 52/329).

  • Twenty-four of the hrHPV-positive participants (46%) vs 56 (20%) of hrHPV-negative participants presented for in-clinic cervical cancer screening.

  • Likelihood of being hrHPV positive appeared to be double for individuals with ≥ 2 sexual partners in the past year.

  • Attitudes toward screening were similar among high-risk HPV-positive and HPV-negative participants, with the exception of hrHPV-positive participants who described a lower perceived risk of cervical cancer than those who were hrHPV negative.

  • Overall there appeared similar hrHPV RNA prevalence to findings in other underscreened PWC in the United States.

  • Researchers emphasize making efforts to reach underscreened PWC for cervical cancer prevention.

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