Estimating the burden of cervical disease among HIV-infected women accessing screening services in South Africa: A model-based analysis

  • C J Chibwesha
  • B Goeieman
  • S Levin
  • M Mulongo
  • M Faesen
  • A Swarts
  • S Ramotshela
  • S Williams
  • N Rakhombe
  • S Bruce
  • P Michelow
  • C Firnhaber


Background. Cervical cancer remains the second most common cancer among women worldwide, with much of the global burden occurring in low- and middle-income countries. HIV-infected women are at increased risk of human papillomavirus infection, preinvasive cervical disease and invasive cervical cancer (ICC). Funded through the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and working in collaboration with the South African (SA) Department of Health, our team supports cervical screening integrated within public sector HIV clinics in SA.
Objectives. To estimate the burden of cervical disease among HIV-infected women accessing screening services supported through our programme.
Methods. We constructed conditional probability models to estimate the burden of grade 1 and grades 2/3 cervical intraepithelial lesions (CIN1 and CIN2/3) and ICC among two cohorts: one consisting of 3 190 HIV-infected women for whom only cytology results were available for analysis, and another consisting of 75 358 HIV-infected women for whom neither cytology nor histology results were available. Parameter estimates for the models were derived from routinely collected programmatic data and published clinical trials.
Results. Between January 2009 and November 2015, 75 358 HIV-infected women underwent Pap smear screening in public sector clinics supported by our cervical cancer prevention programme. Based on modelling analysis, we estimate that 46 123 cases of CIN1 (range 45 500 - 49 608), 13 598 cases of CIN2/3 (range 12 749 - 14 828), and 104 cases of ICC (range 61 - 186) occurred in this population.
Conclusions. Our findings highlight the magnitude of cervical disease among HIV-infected women in SA.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135