Screening, prevalence, and risk factors for cervical lesions among HIV positive and HIV negative women in Swaziland

Academic Article


  • Background: Cervical Cancer (CC) is the number one cancer among women in sub-Saharan Africa. Although CC is preventable, most women in developing countries do not have access to screening. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence and risk factors for cervical lesions using visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) among 112 HIV positive and 161 negative women aged 18-69 years. Results: The presence of cervical lesions was greater among HIV positive (22.9%) than HIV negative women (5.7%; p < 0.0001). In logistic models, the risk of cervical lesions among HIV positive women was 5.24 times higher when adjusted by age (OR 5.24, CI 2.31-11.88), and 4.06 times higher in a full model (OR 4.06, CI 1.61-10.25), than among HIV negative women. In the age-adjusted model women who had ≥2 lifetime sexual partners were 3 times more likely (OR 3.00, CI 1.02-8.85) to have cervical lesions compared to women with one lifetime partner and the odds of cervical lesions among women with a history of STIs were 2.16 greater (OR 2.16, CI 1.04-4.50) than among women with no previous STI. In the fully adjusted model women who had a previous cervical exam were 2.5 times more likely (OR 2.53, CI 1.06-6.05) to have cervical lesions than women who had not. Conclusions: The high prevalence of HIV infection and the strong association between HIV and cervical lesions highlight the need for substantial scale-up of cervical screening to decrease the rate of CC in Swaziland.
  • Published In

  • BMC Public Health  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jolly PE; Mthethwa-Hleta S; Padilla LA; Pettis J; Winston S; Akinyemiju TF; Turner HJ; Ejiawoko A; Brooks R; Preko L
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 1