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The influence of marital factors on genital human papilloma virus infection
Aim: To study the association between marital factors and human papilloma virus (HPV) infection of the cervix.
Method: The subjects were 450 randomly selected sexually active women attending the antenatal, postnatal, gynaecology and family planning clinics in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Nigeria between April 2001 to May 2002. The Pap smear of these patients were examined microscopically for evidence of HPV infection. A questionnaire assessing various marital characteristics of the patients were administered.
Result: Abnormal smears occurred in 245 (54.5%) of the patients screened. Forty eight women (10.7%) had HPV associated changes constituting 19.6% of all abnormal smears. Their ages ranged between 15 and 64 years, with a mean of 26+3 years. There was a statistically significant association between marital status and genital HPV infection.
Conclusion: Single sexually active women are at increased risk of acquiring HPV infection of the cervix and should be the target in a sporadic or an organized cervical cancer screening programme without discriminating other sexually active women.
Keywords: Marital factors, HPV, Pap smear, Orlu
Port Harcourt Medical Journal Vol. 3 (1) 2008: pp. 62-66