Background: We sought to document the association of Human immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection and immunodeficiency with oncogenic Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection in women with no cervical neoplastic lesions identified through a cervical cancer screening programme in Côte d'Ivoire. Methods: A consecutive sample of women stratified on their HIV status and attending the national blood donor clinic or the closest HIV clinic was recruited during a cervical cancer screening programme based on the visual inspection. Diagnosis of HPV infection and genotype identification were based on the Linear Array; HPV test. Results: A total of 445 (254 HIV-positive and 191 HIV-negative) women were included. The prevalence of oncogenic HPV infection was 53.9% (95% confidence interval (CI) 47.9–59.9) in HIV-positive women and 33.7% (95% CI 27.1–40.3) in HIV-negative women (odds ratio (OR)=2.3 (95% CI 1.5–3.3)). In multivariate analysis, HIV-positive women with a CD4 count <200 cells mm3 or between 200 and 499 cells mm3 were more likely to harbour an oncogenic HPV compared with women with a CD4 count ⩾500 cells mm3 with OR of 2.8 (95% CI 1.1–8.1) and 1.7 (95% CI 1.0–2.9), respectively. Conclusion: A high prevalence of oncogenic HPV was found in women with no cervical neoplastic lesions, especially in HIV-positive women. Despite antiretroviral use, immunodeficiency was a main determinant of the presence of oncogenic HPV.