The ATHENA human papillomavirus study: design, methods, and baseline results


      The objective of the study was to describe baseline data from Addressing the Need for Advanced HPV Diagnostics, a prospective, multicenter US cervical cancer screening trial.

      Study Design

      A total of 47,208 women aged 21 years or older undergoing routine screening were enrolled; liquid-based cytology and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing were performed. Women with abnormal cytology underwent colposcopy, as did high-risk HPV (hrHPV)–positive women and a random subset of women negative by both tests aged 25 years or older. Verification bias adjustment was applied; 95% confidence intervals were computed by the bootstrap method.


      The prevalence of cytologic abnormalities was 7.1%. hrHPV, HPV 16, and HPV 18 were detected using the cobas HPV Test in 12.6%, 2.8%, and 1.0% of women, respectively. Both cytologic abnormalities and hrHPV positivity declined with increasing age. The adjusted prevalence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 (CIN2) or greater in women aged 25-34 years was 2.3%, decreasing to 1.5% among older women.


      The Addressing the Need for Advanced HPV Diagnostics study provides important estimates of the prevalence of cytologic abnormalities, hrHPV positivity, and CIN2 or greater in a US screening population.

      Key words

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