Background. Haitian immigrant women residing in Little Haiti, a large ethnic enclave in Miami-Dade County, experience the highest cervical cancer incidence rates in South Florida. While this disparity primarily reflects lack of access to screening with cervical cytology, the burden of human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes virtually all cases of cervical cancer worldwide, varies by population and may contribute to excess rate of disease. Our study examined the prevalence of oncogenic and nononcogenic HPV types and risk factors for HPV infection in Little Haiti. Methods. As part of an ongoing community-based participatory research initiative, community health workers recruited study participants between 2007 and 2008, instructed women on self-collecting cervicovaginal specimens, and collected sociodemographic and healthcare access data. Results. Of the 242 women who contributed adequate specimens, the overall prevalence of HPV was 20.7%, with oncogenic HPV infections (13.2% of women) outnumbering nononcogenic infections (7.4%). Age-specific prevalence of oncogenic HPV was highest in women 18-30 years (38.9%) although the prevalence of oncogenic HPV does not appear to be elevated relative to the general U.S. population. The high prevalence of oncogenic types in women over 60 years may indicate a substantial number of persistent infections at high risk of progression to precancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas