Sexual behavior and HPV infection in British women, by postal questionnaires and telephone interviews.

Almonte, M; Silva, IDS; Asare, A; Gilham, C; Sargent, A; Bailey, A; Turner, A; Desai, M; Kitchener, HC; Peto, J; (2011) Sexual behavior and HPV infection in British women, by postal questionnaires and telephone interviews. Journal of medical virology, 83 (7). pp. 1238-46. ISSN 0146-6615 DOI:

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Sexually transmitted human papillomaviruses (HPVs), most frequently HPV 16, are the primary cause of cervical carcinogenesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between sexual behavior and prevalence and acquisition of HPV infection among British women attending regular cervical screening who responded to postal questionnaires and/or telephone interviews. A total of 1,880 women who had been tested for HPV in the ARTISTIC (A Randomized Trial In Screening To Improve Cytology) trial were randomized to three methods of data collection: group 1 (questionnaire including sexual history, no interview), group 2 (questionnaire excluding sexual history, short interview including sexual history), and group 3 (questionnaire and long interview including sexual history in both). Questions on sexual history included age at first sexual intercourse, sexually transmitted diseases, lifetime (total and regular) sexual partners, and number of partners in the last 5 years (total and new). Demographics, reproductive, cervical screening, and smoking history were also collected in questionnaires. The overall participation rate was 35%. There was good agreement (87.4-95.5%) on sexual behavior answers in questionnaires and interviews in women in group 3 and no significant differences between data obtained by questionnaire or interview. Odds ratios (OR) for both HPV prevalence and acquisition increased consistently with increasing numbers of lifetime sexual partners, regular partners, and new partners in the last 5 years (recent partners). No significant association was found for other characteristics investigated. The effect of recent sexual partners on HPV acquisition (OR for 2+ recent partners: 4.4, 95% CI: 1.7-11.2) was stronger than that of earlier (>5 years ago) partners (OR for 2+ earlier partners: 2.2, 95% CI: 0.7-6.7) suggesting that most incident HPV infections are newly acquired rather than recurrent. J. Med. Virol. 83:1238-1246, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 21520139
Web of Science ID: 290588700017


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