Identifying Predictors of Anal HPV Status in HPV-Vaccinated MSM: A Machine Learning Approach

Aula Cardiologia - Centro Gallucci - Via Giustiniani 2 - Padova


Abstract Anal human papillomavirus (HPV) infection has a high prevalence in men who have sex with men (MSM), resulting in an increased risk for anal cancer. This work aims to identify factors associated with HPV in a prospective cohort of HPV-vaccinated MSM. This observational study enrolled MSM patients admitted to an Italian (sexually transmitted infection) STI-AIDS Unit. Two random forest (RF) algorithms were applied to evaluate predictors that were most associated with HPV. The cohort included 135 MSM, 49% of whom were HIV-positive with a median age of 39 years. In model 1 (baseline), age, age sexual debut, HIV, number of lifetime sex partners, STIs, were most associated with the HPV. In model 2 (follow-up), age, age sexual debut, HIV, STI class, and follow-up. Traditional risk factors for anal HPV infection, such as drug use, receptive anal intercourse, and multiple sexual partner, were found to have low importance in predicting HPV status.