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Investigating Cervical Lesion and Human Papillomavirus in Apparently Healthy Religious Women in Benin City, Nigeria

E.B. Odigie
S.O. Bolaji-Osagie


Pathological abnormalities observed in cells or tissues obtained from the uterine cervix of women are collectively referred to as cervical lesions. The condition is gradually becoming a menace as it can affect different category of women. It is more worrisome as religious women particularly are not spared from the deadly scourge. This study was to investigate cervical lesion and human papillomavirus in relatively healthy religious women attending Pentecostal churches in Benin City, Nigeria. A cross-sectional investigation of the participants using structured questionnaire and the liquid-based cytology from January to July 2017 was used as the data and sample collecting tools. Majority of religious women that participated in the survey (n=429) cut across 47 Pentecostal churches. The mean age of the respondents was 48.46years (±2SD) with the highest number of participants being age group (36-45years) 131/429(31%), and ≥66years 13/429(3%). HPV infection was 9/429(2.1%), and the worst hit was among age group (26-35years) 5/429(1.2%) followed by 3/429(0.7%) amongst age group 36-45years, and 1/429 (0.2%) from age group 46-55years. 51/429(11.89%) was cervical lesion positive, while cytopathology revealed inflammatory smears (acute and chronic cervicitis), atypical glandular cells (AGC), low-grade squamous cell intraepithelial lesions (LSIL), and atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS). Cervical lesion and subsequent HPV infections are prevalent within the study population. However, to avert the impending dangers (cervical cancer) posed by cervical lesions in the society, modesty in sexual exploitation and decent lifestyles are highly imperative.

Keywords: Cervical cancer, Cervical lesion, Uterine cervix, Uterine infections, Religious women.