The prevalence of human papillomavirus infection in Mombassa, Kenya.

Document Type



Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)



A human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence survey was done in Mombasa, Kenya, to improve the knowledge of HPV prevalence and genotype distribution in sub-Saharan African countries overall, and in women of different ages.


HPV prevalence was assessed using PCR in women older than 15 years attending family planning and mother–child care services.


Among 496 women, HPV prevalence was high (42.3%; 95% CI: 37.9–46.8; world age-standardized). Moreover, 46% of HPV-positive women harbored multiple-type infections. The most common types were HPV58 (10.5% of women), HPV16 (7.7%), HPV53 (6.7%), HPV18 (4.6%), and HPV6 (4.4%), and the prevalence of any high-risk HPV type was 28.8%. HPV prevalence was elevated among all age-groups (range 36.4–45.7%). Independent associations with HPV positivity were found for being in a polygamous marriage (OR = 1.7) and lifetime number of sexual partners (OR for ≥3 vs. 1 = 1.5), although they were of only borderline statistical significance.


These findings differ from other world regions, showing a high HPV burden in all age-groups with a high proportion of multiple-type infections. Our data strengthen the urgency of HPV vaccination in Kenya but also highlight the elevated number of women who would have positive results in an HPV-based screening program in the country.


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

Publication (Name of Journal)

Cancer Causes & Control