HIV and cervical cancer in Kenya.

Document Type



Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)


Objectives: To determine the effect of the HIV epidemic on invasive cervical cancer in Kenya.

Methods: Of the 3902 women who were diagnosed with reproductive tract malignancies at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) from 1989 to 1998, 85% had invasive cervical cancer. Age at presentation and severity of cervical cancer were studied for a 9-year period when national HIV prevalence went from 5% to 5–10%, to 10–15%.

Results: There was no significant change in either age at presentation or severity of cervical cancer. Of the 118 (5%) women who were tested for HIV, 36 (31%) were seropositive. These women were 5 years younger at presentation than HIV-negative women.

Conclusions: A two- to three-fold increase in HIV prevalence in Kenya did not seem to have a proportional effect on the incidence of cervical cancer. Yet, HIV-positive women who presented with cervical cancer were significantly younger than HIV-negative women.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics