Recent studies are verifying the strong correlation between clinician collected and self-collected anogenital specimens for HPV screening in sexually active women. In a population of young women in Puerto Rico, a significant number of the samples from both the vaginal and anal locations were positive for HPV with an incidence in both sites approaching 40%. The data demonstrated the following points:
- Excellent correlation between clinician and self-collected results, essentially identical!
- Concordance between vaginal and anal HPV genotypes (the same genotypes were detected).
- High prevalence in both locations of HPV-16, a significant finding and marker for potential progression in both locations to high grade dysplasia.
- The direct correlation between the number of sexual contacts and prevalence of HPV positivity.
Self-collection of anogenital specimens for HPV testing is a cost-effective alternative to clinician collected specimens and could provide greater incentive for health screening. So be smart. Don't be afraid. Get tested!