Comparison of Abnormal Cervical Cytology from HIV Positive Women, Female Sex Workers and General Population

Document Type : Original article


1 Maternal Fetal Medicine Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Research Center for Traditional Medicine and History of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 Department of Pathology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

5 Biomedical Science Centre, Charles Sturt University, Melbourne, Australia

6 Nursing School and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Sex workers and HIV seropositive women are at high risk of abnormal cervical cytology. The objective of this study was to compare the cervical cytology among three groups of women: active sex workers, HIV-infected women, and general population in Iran.Methods: This was a cross-sectional study performed in Hazrat Zeinab, Lavan clinics and drop in center (DIC) in Shiraz, Iran. This study was performed from October 2009 to October 2011. A total of 266 patients were assigned into three groups: sex-workers (85), HIV positive patients (100), and general population (81). Pap smear was performed for all participants from the exocervix and endocervix, using a plastic Ayres’s spatula and cytobrush. The samples were sent to a pathology center, using a liquid-based media. Results: The risk of cervical infection in sex workers and HIV positive women was greater than the general population (OR=5.47, 95% confidence interval [CI]:2.24, 13.40), (OR=3.71, 95% CI:1.52, 9.09), respectively. The frequency of abnormal cervical cytology in the HIV positive and sex worker groups was higher than the general population (OR=6. 76, 95% CI:2.25, 20.32), (OR=3. 80, 95% CI:1.19, 12.07), respectively. Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL) and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) were associated with CD4 cell count<200Í106/L, P=0.021 and P<0.001, respectively.Conclusion: Vaginal infections were seen more often in the sex worker group, and abnormal cervical cytology was greater in the HIV positive group.