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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2012, Article ID 728397, 10 pages
Research Article

Burden of Human Papillomavirus among Haitian Immigrants in Miami, Florida: Community-Based Participatory Research in Action

1Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami Leonard Miller School of Medicine, Clinical Research Building, Suite 1033 1120 NW 14th Street, Miami, FL 33136, USA
2Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miami, FL 33136, USA
3Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136, USA
4Center of Excellence for Health Disparities Research: El Centro, School of Nursing and Health Studies, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33146, USA
5Department of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136, USA
6Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

Received 28 September 2011; Accepted 30 November 2011

Academic Editor: Adhemar Longatto-Filho

Copyright © 2012 Erin Kobetz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Haitian immigrant women residing in Little Haiti, a large ethnic enclave in Miami-Dade County, experience the highest cervical cancer incidence rates in South Florida. While this disparity primarily reflects lack of access to screening with cervical cytology, the burden of human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes virtually all cases of cervical cancer worldwide, varies by population and may contribute to excess rate of disease. Our study examined the prevalence of oncogenic and nononcogenic HPV types and risk factors for HPV infection in Little Haiti. Methods. As part of an ongoing community-based participatory research initiative, community health workers recruited study participants between 2007 and 2008, instructed women on self-collecting cervicovaginal specimens, and collected sociodemographic and healthcare access data. Results. Of the 242 women who contributed adequate specimens, the overall prevalence of HPV was 20.7%, with oncogenic HPV infections (13.2% of women) outnumbering nononcogenic infections (7.4%). Age-specific prevalence of oncogenic HPV was highest in women 18–30 years (38.9%) although the prevalence of oncogenic HPV does not appear to be elevated relative to the general U.S. population. The high prevalence of oncogenic types in women over 60 years may indicate a substantial number of persistent infections at high risk of progression to precancer.