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Prevalence and correlates of oral human papillomavirus infection among healthy males and females in Lima, Peru
  1. Brian J Rosen1,
  2. Leora Walter2,
  3. Robert H Gilman1,3,
  4. Lilia Cabrerra3,
  5. Patti E Gravitt4,
  6. Morgan A Marks4
  1. 1Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Department of Graduate Prosthodontics and Implant Dentistry, New York Hospital Queens, Flushing, New York, USA
  3. 3Asociacion Benefica PRISMA, Lima, Peru
  4. 4Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  5. Affiliation at the time the research was conducted. MAM is currently an employee of Merck and Co. Inc.
  1. Correspondence to Dr Morgan A Marks, Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Merck, Sharpe & Dohme Corp, P.O. Box 1000, North Wales, PA 19454, USA; morgan.marks{at}


Purpose The incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) associated head and neck cancers (HNCs) have been increasing in Peru. However, the burden of oral HPV infection in Peru has not been assessed. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to estimate the prevalence and correlates of oral HPV infection in a population-based sample from males and females from Lima, Peru.

Methods Between January 2010 and June 2011, a population-based sample of 1099 individuals between the ages of 10 and 85 from a low-income neighbourhood in Lima, Peru was identified through random household sampling. Information on demographic, sexual behaviours, reproductive factors and oral hygiene were collected using interviewer-administered questionnaires. Oral rinse specimens were collected from each participant, and these specimens were genotyped using the Roche Linear Array assay. ORs were used to assess differences in the prevalence of any oral HPV and any high-risk oral HPV infection by demographic factors, sexual practices and oral hygiene among individuals 15+ years of age.

Results The prevalence of any HPV and any high-risk HPV (HR-HPV) was 6.8% and 2.0%, respectively. The three most common types were HPV 55 (3.4%), HPV 6 (1.5%) and HPV 16 (1.1%). Male sex (aOR, 2.21; 95% CI 1.22 to 4.03) was associated with any HPV infection after adjustment.

Conclusions The prevalence of oral HPV in this study was similar to estimates observed in the USA. Higher prevalence of oral infections in males was consistent with a male predominance of HPV-associated HNCs and may signal a sex-specific aetiology in the natural history of infection.

  • HPV

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