Prevalence and Risk Factors of High Risk Human Papillomavirus Infections among Women Attending Gynaecology Clinics in Kano, Northern Nigeria
Cervical cancer is the most common female cancer in northern Nigeria, yet the pattern of infection with human papillomavirus, the principal aetiologic agent is unknown. This was a preliminary study conducted in two referral hospitals in order to establish base-line data on the prevalence and risk factors for the infection in Kano state, Nigeria. Fifty (50) randomly selected women aged 18 years and above were recruited from gynaecology clinics in Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital and Aminu Kano teaching Hospital. Relevant sexual and socio-demographic information were obtained from each subject using a questionnaire. Exfoliated cervical cells were harvested and processed using Polymerase Chain Reaction to identify the DNAs of high-risk HPV types 16 and 18. The prevalence rate of HPV infection was 76% [(38/50) at 95% CI=61.8-86.9] with 60.5% (23/38) having co-infections with both HPV type 16 and 18. Risk factors of the infection include low literacy level; living in rural settlements; low parity; early menarche (<15 years of age); early onset of first sexual intercourse (≤16 years of age) and multiple sexual partners. There was however, no statistically significant association between oral contraceptive usage and acquisition of the infections. Findings of this study suggest a high prevalence of HPV types 16 and 18 among women attending gynaecology clinic in Kano and thus called for more elaborate community based study in order to establish the magnitude of the problem from wider perspective.
Keywords: Human Papillomavirus; Prevalence; Risk Factors, Northern Nigeria