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Observed Age Difference and Clinical Characteristics of Invasive Cervical Cancer Patients in Tanzania; A Comparison between HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Women

Objectives: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection may associate to invasive cervical cancer (ICC) disease course and outcome. However, there is inconsistency of data regarding to the presence of HIV infection in women with ICC from different geographical population groups. To study the current HIV association with ICC in Tanzania, we evaluated the presence of HIV infection in women diagnosed with ICC.

Methods: We conducted a hospital-based study of 152 women histologically diagnosed with ICC at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute, Tanzania for one year. Rapid antibody test was used to check for HIV infection status. Chi-square test and logistic regression were used for statistical analysis and the tests were considered significant if p<0.05.

Results: HIV-positive women were significantly younger than HIV-seronegative women; the median age was 36 years (IQR 28-62), compared to 56 years (IQR 38-81), respectively, p<0.001. In a stratified analysis, among HIVpositive women, 82% (22/27) were below age 40 years compared to only 13% (16/125) in women aged >40 years. In a pooled analysis, covariates of ICC with regard to HIV infection were, age at sexual debut below 16 years (p<0.001) and low education level (p=0.001). Moreover, statistical analysis revealed that treatment comorbidity, pre-treatment blood transfusion and low pretreatment white blood cell count were significantly associated with HIV-positive status (p<0.05).

Conclusion: HIV-positive women were twenty years younger than HIV-seronegative women, both diagnosed with ICC (p<0.001). A large population based case-control study would advance our understanding on the temporality of this association.


Ramadhani Salum Chambuso, Evelyn Kaambo and Shadrack Stephan

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