African Health Sciences

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Precancerous lesions of cervix among women infected with HIV in Referral Hospitals of Amhara Region, Northwest Ethiopia: a cross sectional study

Limenih Simachew Kassa, Worke Mulugeta Dile, Gebresilasie Kahsay Zenebe, Abadi Marta Berta


Background: The risk of death from complications related to cancer of the cervix is a main health problem over the course of a woman’s life in low income countries. It commonly affects women infected with HIV. Therefore, screening women infected with HIV should start in low income countries, including Ethiopia.

Methods: We conducted an institution based cross-sectional study from September 1st, 2015 to December 30th, 2015. During the study, 435 women were included in the study. The data were collected through face to face interviews and patient chart re- view using pre-tested and structured questionnaires. Data was also collected through visual inspection with acetic acid applied for screening and treatment. Data was entered into Epi-info version 7, cleaned and analyzed using SPSS version 20. Logistic regression analysis fitted and odds ratio with 95% confidence interval were computed.

Results: The overall prevalence of pre-cancerous lesions of the cervix was 20.2% (95%CI: 13%, 29%). Having more than one lifetime sexual partner (AOR=2.91, 95%CI:1.13, 7.52), a history of sexually transmitted disease (AOR=4.04, 95%CI: 2.19, 7.44), age at first birth less than 18 years (AOR=3.36, 95%CI: 1.79, 5.01) and baseline CD4 count less than 200 cells/mm3 (AOR=7.51, 95%CI: 3.58, 15.68)  were significantly associated with pre-cancerous lesion of the cervix.

Conclusion: This study points out the prevalence of pre-cancerous lesions of the cervix is high. Thus, the findings recommend raising of a screening strategy for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia for all women living with HIV should be undertaken. In ad- dition, awareness creation about the impact of multiple sexual partner, promotion of early HIV diagnosis and timely baseline CD4 cell count is important.

Keywords: Pre-cancerous, cervical lesion, HIV, cancer, visual inspection, acetic acid.
AJOL African Journals Online