1Department of Virus Research Manipal University Manipal-576104 Karnataka India
2Dept of Obstetrics and gynecology Dr TMA Pai Hospital MMMC Manipal University Manipal-576104 Karnataka
3Department of Community Medicine Kasturba Medical college Manipal University Manipal-576104 Karnataka India
4Professor and Head, Department of Biostatistics, Manipal University, Manipal-576104 Karnataka India
Introduction: Cervical cancer probably represents the best-studied human cancer caused by a viral infection and the causal association of this preventable cancer with human papilloma virus (HPV) is well established. Worldwide there is a scarcity of data regarding HPV prevalence with vast differences existing among populations. Objective: The aim of this meta-analysis was to determine the community-based HPV prevalence estimates among asymptomatic women from urban and rural set ups and in participants of cancer screening clinics. Study design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods: PubMed-Medline, CINAHL, Scopus, and Google scholar were systematically searched for studies providing prevalence data for HPV infection among asymptomatic women between 1986 and 2016. Results: The final analysis included 32 studies comprising a population of 224,320 asymptomatic women. The overall pooled HPV prevalence was 11% (95% confidence interval (CI), 9%-12%). The pooled HPV prevalence of 11% (95% CI, 9%-11%) was observed among women attending cervical cancer screening clinics. The pooled HPV prevalences were 10% (95% CI 8%-12%) and 11% (95% CI 4%-18%) from urban and rural areas respectively, indicating higher infection rates among the rural women with the least access to cancer screening and cancer care. Conclusion: The prevalence rates in this systematic quantitative review provide a reliable estimate of the burden of HPV infection among asymptomatic women from developed as well as developing nations. Rural women and women attending cervical cancer screening programmes feature higher genital HPV prevalences compared to their urban counterparts.