International Journal of Medicine and Public Health,2014,4,1,102-106.
Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in United Arab Emirates (UAE) as well as in the world; high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infection is found to be the most common cause of cervical cancer. The objective of the study is to evaluate the status of HR-HPV infection among women with Pap smear tests negative for intraepithelial lesions/malignancy (NILM). This cross-sectional study was conducted at the GMC Hospital and Gulf Medical University Histopathology/Cytology and Molecular Biology Laboratories within a period of 6 months from December 2011-May 2012. All pertinent patients’ data were obtained from medical records. A total of 50 patients were included in the study. Cytology (PreservCyt) samples were tested for HR-HPV, using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based test AMPLICOR HPV. This test is designed to detect 13 HR-HPV type. Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software package and was presented mainly as percentages of total sample size. Results: Of the 50 patients, five (10%) were positive for HR-HPV. Only four patients out of the 50 patients (8%) underwent Pap smear test as voluntary routine check-up, while 46 patients (92%) underwent the test because they were symptomatic. Conclusions: We acknowledge the small size of our working sample, but in view of very limited data in the region and due to strong cultural taboos against the topic, we have drawn some high level statistical conclusion and found that a moderately high prevalence of HR-HPV positive patients among women with Pap smear test NILM was detected in UAE, a country where no community based cervical cancer screening program is practiced. The rate of opportunistic/voluntary cervical screening was very low indicating poor or lack of awareness about the importance of Pap smear test as a tool to screen cervical epithelial changes among study population. The results presented in this study may provide valuable data for physicians involved in decision-making regarding the current situation related to cervical screening practice and HPV infection in UAE.