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5-Year Prospective Evaluation of Cytology, Human Papillomavirus Testing, and Biomarkers for Detection of Anal Precancer in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Positive Men Who Have Sex With Men.

  • Author(s): Clarke, Megan A
  • Cheung, Li C
  • Lorey, Thomas
  • Hare, Brad
  • Landy, Rebecca
  • Tokugawa, Diane
  • Gage, Julia C
  • Darragh, Teresa M
  • Castle, Philip E
  • Wentzensen, Nicolas
  • et al.


Human papillomavirus (HPV)-related biomarkers have shown good cross-sectional performance for anal precancer detection in human immunodeficiency virus-positive (HIV+) men who have sex with men (MSM). However, the long-term performance and risk stratification of these biomarkers are unknown. Here, we prospectively evaluated high-risk (HR) HPV DNA, HPV16/18 genotyping, HPV E6/E7 messenger RNA (mRNA), and p16/Ki-67 dual stain in a population of HIV+ MSM.


We enrolled 363 HIV+ MSM between 2009-2010, with passive follow-up through 2015. All had anal cytology and a high-resolution anoscopy at baseline. For each biomarker, we calculated the baseline sensitivity and specificity for a combined endpoint of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) and anal intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or more severe diagnoses (HSIL/AIN2+), and we estimated the 2- and 5-year cumulative risks of HSIL/AIN2+ using logistic and Cox regression models.


There were 129 men diagnosed with HSIL/AIN2+ during the study. HR-HPV testing had the highest positivity and sensitivity of all assays, but the lowest specificity. HPV16/18 and HPV E6/E7 mRNA had high specificity, but lower sensitivity. The 2- and 5-year risks of HSIL/AIN2+ were highest for those testing HPV16/18- or HPV E6/E7 mRNA-positive, followed by those testing dual stain-positive. Those testing HR-HPV- or dual stain-negative had the lowest 2- and 5-year risks of HSIL/AIN2+.


HPV-related biomarkers provide long-term risk stratification for anal precancers. HR-HPV- and dual stain-negativity indicate a low risk of HSIL/AIN2+ for at least 2 years, compared with negative anal cytology; however, the high positivity of HR-HPV in HIV+ MSM may limit its utility for surveillance and management in this population.

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