Patterns of persistent genital human papillomavirus infection among women worldwide: A literature review and meta-analysis

Anne F. Rositch, Jill Koshiol, Michael G. Hudgens, Hilda Razzaghi, Danielle M. Backes, Jeanne M. Pimenta, Eduardo L. Franco, Charles Poole, Jennifer S. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Persistent high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infection is the strongest risk factor for high-grade cervical precancer. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of HPV persistence patterns worldwide. Medline and ISI Web of Science were searched through January 1, 2010 for articles estimating HPV persistence or duration of detection. Descriptive and meta-regression techniques were used to summarize variability and the influence of study definitions and characteristics on duration and persistence of cervical HPV infections in women. Among 86 studies providing data on over 100,000 women, 73% defined persistence as HPV positivity at a minimum of two time points. Persistence varied notably across studies and was largely mediated by study region and HPV type, with HPV-16, 31, 33 and 52 being most persistent. Weighted median duration of any-HPV detection was 9.8 months. HR-HPV (9.3 months) persisted longer than low-risk HPV (8.4 months), and HPV-16 (12.4 months) persisted longer than HPV-18 (9.8 months). Among populations of HPV-positive women with normal cytology, the median duration of any-HPV detection was 11.5 and HR-HPV detection was 10.9 months. In conclusion, we estimated that approximately half of HPV infections persist past 6 to 12 months. Repeat HPV testing at 12-month intervals could identify women at increased risk of high-grade cervical precancer due to persistent HPV infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1271-1285
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2013


  • HPV
  • cervical cancer
  • clearance
  • duration
  • human papillomavirus
  • literature review
  • meta-analysis
  • natural history
  • persistence
  • repeat testing
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Patterns of persistent genital human papillomavirus infection among women worldwide: A literature review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this