The study's aim is to estimate the prevalence of High-Risk Human Papillomavirus (HR HPV) infection among Iranian healthy women undergoing routine cervical cancer screening using COBAS HPV typing assay. The results of the current study might help us in making public health decisions regarding the cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination to prevent and decrease the incidence of this cancer in Iran.

Persistent infection with High-Risk Human Papillomavirus (HR HPV) types plays a major role in the development of cervical cancer. Therefore, the detection of HR HPV types is an essential part of cervical cancer screening. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of HR HPV infection among healthy women undergoing routine cervical cancer screening in Iran.

In this cross-sectional study, the results of HPV DNA typing in 2453 normal Iranian women who were referred for routine cervical cancer screening from September 2015 to March 2017 were analyzed. Participants were screened using COBAS assay for HPV DNA typing and liquid-based cytology.

A total of 2453 healthy sexually active women were included in this study. The mean age was 35.1 ± 8.08 years. The overall prevalence of HR HPV infection was 10.3%.

HPV16 was found in 73 (3%) women. The prevalence of HPV18 and other HR HPV types were 16(0.7%) and166 (8.2%), respectively. Approximately, 5% of the study population had an abnormal cervical cytology (ASCUS or worse), of whom 34% were infected by HR HPV.

The prevalence of HR HPV infection among Iranian women has increased in the recent years which indicates the need for public education and health planning to prevent this cancer through vaccination and early diagnosis using screening tests.

HPV DNA typing, diagnosis and the distribution of prevalent genotypes should be considered in the development of comprehensive cervical cancer prevention programs in Iran.