OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of high-risk genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection by age group and risk factors associated. METHODS: Cross-sectional study in a sample of 2,300 women (15-65 years old) who self-referred to cervical cancer screening in Sao Paulo and Campinas, Southeastern Brazil, between February 2002 and March 2003. An epidemiological questionnaire was applied and cervical specimens were obtained for cytology and hybrid capture II test (HCII) for HPV detection. Statistical analysis included Pearson Chi-square and unconditional multiple logistic regression model (forward likelihood ratio). RESULTS: High-risk genital HPV infection prevalence in this sample was 17.8% and age distribution was as follows: 27.1% (<25 years), 21.3% (25-34 years), 12.1% (35-44 years), 12.0% (45-54 years) and 13.9% (55-65 years). Subjects with the highest number of lifetime sexual partners had the highest rates of genital HPV infection. To be living with a partner, aged 35 to 44 years, and former smokers were protective factors. High-risk genital HPV infection was 14.3% in normal cytology, 77.8% in high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions and in the two cases (100%) of cervical cancer. CONCLUSIONS: High-risk HPV prevalence was high in the sample studied. The highest prevalence of HPV infection was seen in women under 25 years old and then a new increase was seen over the age of 55 and the highest rates were found among those with many sexual partners during their lifetime.
Papillomavirus infections; Uterine cervical neoplasms; Risk factors; Cross-sectional studies