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HPV Is Common in Women Smokers

HPV Is Common in Women Smokers


A study of nearly 2,300 women shows that HIV-positive women who smoke have a significantly higher risk for the presence of sexually transmitted human papillomavirus in the cervix than HIV-positive women who do not smoke. Researchers report in the May 15 edition of Journal of Infectious Diseases that HIV-positive women were more likely to have detectable HPV in the cervix than their peers, and they were also more likely to be infected with a subtype of the virus linked with the development of cervical cancer, which is an AIDS-defining condition. The researchers suggest the higher risk is likely due to the immunosuppressive effects of cigarette smoke that can disrupt systemic and mucosal immunity to invading HPV. 'Smoking and HIV infections in conjunction may alter the natural history of HPV infection and thereby increase the risk of cervical disease,' the researchers conclude. 'These data add to the litany of reasons for making smoking cessation a cornerstone of women's health.'

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