A systematic review of the association between smoking exposure and HPV-related cervical cell abnormality among women living with HIV: Implications for prevention strategies


This study aims to evaluate the association between smoking exposure and human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cervical abnormalities among women living with HIV (WLWH). By conducting a systematic review of the current literature, we evaluated the association between current active smoking and/or exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) and the risk of cervical HPV incidence, prevalence, and clearance, as well as high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasm (HGCIN) incidence, prevalence, progression, and regression among WLWH. We conducted the literature search in Ovid Medline, Embase, and Scopus following the PRISMA guidelines. We determined the risk of bias of included studies using the Risk of Bias Assessment Tool for Nonrandomized Studies. Studies with the same effect measure were combined for a pooled estimate. We identified 15 studies that met the inclusion criteria for the final analysis, with a limited number of studies evaluating each study question. Among WLWH, current active smoking is associated with an increased risk of new HPV infections (HR = 1.33, 95% CI 1.10-1.60), HPV prevalence (ORpooled = 1.55, 95% CI 1.26-1.91), HGCIN incidence (HR = 1.5, 95% CI 1.2-2.0), and HGCIN prevalence (PR = 3.69, 95% CI 1.54-8.78). There was no significant association between current active smoking and HPV clearance. We did not identify any study that evaluated the association between SHS exposure and HPV-related cervical abnormalities among WLWH. Active smoking increases the risk of HPV infection and pre-cancer lesion development in WLWH. Considering smoking as an additional risk factor when designing tailored cervical cancer screening programs for WLWH is necessary in high smoking prevalence regions.


Zhao R, Sekar P, Bennis SL, Kulasingam S




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • Women
    • General HIV+ population
  • Substance Use
    • Tobacco
  • Co-infections
    • Other


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