Background Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes most oropharyngeal cancers in the United States. Oral HPV prevalence is associated with immunosuppression, and drug use can be immunosuppressive, but the epidemiology of oral HPV among people who use drugs is not well described. Methods We enrolled men and women with a current or prior history of injection drug use in this cross-sectional sub-study within the AIDS Linked to the Intravenous Experience (ALIVE) cohort. We tested oral rinse samples for 37 types of HPV DNA and collected self-reported risk factor information. We compared oral HPV prevalence across categories using chisquared statistics and multivariable logistic regression. Results Among 199 subjects, 32% were HIV-positive (median CD4 count 384 cells/ìL), 90% were Black, 56% had less than a high school education, 17% had recently used injection drugs, and the median age was 54 years. Most had performed oral sex (82%) but had fewer than 5 lifetime partners (58%). The prevalence of any oral HPV was 29%, and of any oncogenic oral HPV was 13%. Oral HPV prevalence was high among both heterosexual men (30%) and women (20%). After adjustment, odds of oral HPV were increased among HIV-positive individuals with a low CD4 count (<350 cells/μl, aOR = 2.7, 95%CI = 1.2-6.4, vs. HIV-negative individuals), but not among HIV-positive individuals with a higher CD4 cell count. Odds were also elevated for those who had recently performed oral sex on a woman (aOR = 2.2, 95%CI = 1.01-4.6) and, even after this adjustment, among bisexual/lesbian females (aOR = 5.6, 95%CI = 1.4-23, vs. heterosexual females). Oral HPV prevalence was not associated with vaginal sex, performing oral sex on a man, or recent drug use. Conclusions Recent drug use was not associated with oral HPV prevalence in our study. However, despite modest numbers of sexual partners, the prevalence of oral HPV among this largely Black population with lower socioeconomic status was high.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)