OBJECTIVE--To determine if behavioural factors, other than sexual, differ between women with cervical human papillomavirus infection (CHPI) and those with genital warts (GW). DESIGN--A structured, personal in-depth interview which included details on sexual behaviour, hygiene, gynaecological complaints, and demographical characteristics and a gynaecological examination which included vaginal culture and human papillomavirus (HPV) typing with Southern blot. SUBJECTS--Women (n = 972) who had attended two family planning clinics and one youth clinic for contraceptive advice. RESULTS--Out of this female population 66 (6.8%) were found to have CHPI, 39 (4.0%) had genital warts (GW), and 30 (3.1%) women reported genital warts within the last two years. The women with CHPI had had significantly less education, were more often immigrants, had a vaginal flora change more frequently and were more often smokers than the women with GW. The women with GW reported lower abdominal pain significantly more often, had a leucocyte dominance in the vaginal secretion more often and favoured bathing in a bathtub more than the women with CHPI. After adjustment for sexual behavioural factors the significant difference between the two groups for bathing in a bathtub and lower abdominal pain remained. CONCLUSION--Although both conditions are caused by HPV, there are behavioural differences between women with CHPI and women with CA.
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