Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in men with penile carcinoma is associated with increased prevalence of human papilloma virus infection and younger age at presentation

  • SW Wentzel
  • LP Vermeulen
  • CA Beukes
  • J Thiart
  • G Joubert
  • J Goedhals
Keywords: penis, carcinoma, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human papilloma virus (HPV)


Background: We investigated the prevalence of HIV and human papilloma virus (HPV) infection in men with penile carcinoma.
Method: This retrospective study investigated all men with penile carcinoma at the Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein, South Africa (January 2000–December 2008). Patients' age, HIV status, histological type of carcinoma and evidence of HPV infection were recorded. Statistical analyses included Student's t-test and Fisher's exact test where appropriate (2-tailed p-value < 0.05 indicated statistical significant).
Results: Among 65 patients (mean age 50.9 years, range 37–69), the most common histological type was squamous cell carcinoma (80.0%). HIV status was known for 48 patients; 27 (56.2%) were HIV-positive. The mean age at presentation was 43.7 years (range 26–69) years in the HIV-positive and 57.2 years (range 26–89) years in the HIV-negative group. Approximately 55% of HIV-positive and 24% of HIV-negative patients showed histological evidence of HPV infection (p = 0.04). No significant difference was found with regard to histological type of carcinoma.
Conclusion: Patients with penile carcinoma had a high prevalence of HIV infection. The HIV-positive group were significantly younger at presentation, with a higher prevalence of HPV infection, suggesting that HIV may contribute to HPV-associated penile cancer at a younger age.

Key words: penis; carcinoma; human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); human papilloma virus (HPV)


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2078-5151
print ISSN: 0038-2361