Background: Romania has had one of the highest rates of cervical cancer incidence
and mortality in Europe for decades. Data on the high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV)
prevalence within the Romanian population are crucial for cervical cancer intervention
in high risk groups. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of hrHPV
infection in Romania, identifying high-risk areas for cervical cancer prevention efforts.Methods:
The target population of this study were women of all forms in Romania, including
ethnic minorities, women from urban and rural areas, and women in various regions.
Women with no history of precancerous or cancerous lesions were offered hrHPV screening.
The specimens were tested with Hybrid Capture 2 (HC2) DNA test. Age-standardized hrHPV
prevalence rates with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated.Results: hrHPV
results of 2060 women aged 18 to 70 years were analyzed. The highest hrHPV prevalence
rates were observed among: Romanians (17.9%; 95 CI: 15.5-20.7%), Hungarians (16.6%;
95% CI: 13.1-20.8%), Russians (15.6%; 95% CI: 11.3-21.3%), women living in North (19.2%;
95% CI: 16.5-22.3%), and West regions (23.0%; 95 CI: 18.6-28.0%), and women living
in urban areas (20.0%; 95 CI: 18.5-28.0%). hrHPV prevalence rates were lower for the
Roma population (7.8%; 95% CI: 4.7-12.5%).Conclusions: These hrHPV prevalence rates
in a high cervical cancer incidence country provide baseline information for targeted
cervical cancer intervention strategies as well as a baseline to measure the impact
of hrHPV vaccination in the future.