While vaccines protect against some HPV genotypes, women living with HIV (WLWH) who have been vaccinated remain infected with other HPV types that may lead to cervical cancer, a Canadian study published in Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes found, underlining the importance of cervical cancer screenings regardless of vaccination status.
The study followed 284 WLWH for a median of 4 years and a total of 1,205 person-years of follow-up. All participants received the quadrivalent HPV vaccine, which covers genotypes 6, 11, 16, and 18, with 94% of participants receiving all 3 shots.
Other HPV genotypes that can cause cancer persisted for ≥ 2 study visits after the first vaccine dose.HPV51 was found in 1.38/100 person-years, HPV52 in 1.18/100 PY, and HPV 39 in 1.06/100 PY.
More recently, the quadrivalent HPV vaccine has been replaced by a nonavalent vaccine, which covers HPV51, but not the other two genotypes. Overall, there were more oncogenic genotypes not covered by the newer vaccine (3.6/100 PY) than genotypes included in that vaccine (2.4/100 PY).
“Our findings support the continued regular cervical screening of WLWH regardless of their HPV vaccine history and validate the need for a multipronged approach to elimination of cervical cancer,” study authors concluded.