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Cirion Foundation

the impact of infectious diseases

HIV & HPV co-infection

In addition to thrombosis as a long-term complication, co-infection with human papilloma virus (HPV) is another common issue associated with chronic HIV disease. Certain HPV strains are oncogenic and can cause anogenital cancer, especially in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM).

HPV is the most common cause of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) of viral etiology worldwide. Persistent infection with HPV is the major cause of anogenital cancer, such as cervical, penile anal cancer and their precursor lesions. HIV-infected patients are at increased risk of persistent HPV infections through chronic deviations in the immune system and their sexual lifestyle. The incidence of anal cancer among men who have sex with men (MSM) is estimated to be 35 cases per 100,000 population, which is comparable to the incidence of cervical cancer before the introduction of routine cervical Papanicolau (Pap) screening. The risk of anal cancer among HIV-infected MSM is estimated to be twice as high. It is hypothesized that in the HAART era the incidence of HPV-associated anogenital cancers in HIV-infected patients might increase as a consequence of prolonged survival.
In the Slotervaart Hospital, HIV-infected MSM are screened on precursor lesions of anal cancer by anal cytology, anoscopy and HPV testing. This important data will be used in establishing the optimal screening strategy and, probably, for a future national guideline for this population segment which is at high-risk of contracting anal cancer.


  • Studies on HPV prevalence and screening of HPV-related anogenital malignancies collaboration Slotervaart Hospital (Dept. of Internal Medicine, Pharmacy, Molecular Biology).