The present study attempted to analyse human papillomavirus (HPV) genotype distribution and its association with cervical cytology results in women in western China. The present retrospective analysis was performed in 1089 female outpatients with a positive HPV test result who had undergone a cervical cytology test at the gynaecological clinic, West China Second Hospital, Sichuan University, China, between January 2014 and December 2016. Of the 1089 patients with HPV infection, multiple HPV genotypes were detected in 220 patients (20.20%). Among the 1368 HPV genotypes detected, 1145 (83.70%) were high-risk subtypes. The most common genotypes were HPV-52 (18.64%), HPV-16 (16.59%), HPV-58 (13.23%), HPV-18 (6.80%), HPV-56 (5.56%) and HPV-59 (5.56%). Cervical cytology revealed abnormal cells in 430 (39.49%) patients. The most common diagnoses were atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US; 236 cases, 54.88%), low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL; 151 cases, 35.12%), high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL; 63 cases, 14.65%) and atypical glandular cells (AGC; 21 cases, 4.88%). HPV-66 was significantly associated (P = 0.037) with ASC; HPV-52 and HPV-56 were significantly associated with LSIL (P = 0.009 and 0.026, respectively); HPV-16 (P < 0.001), HPV-33 (P = 0.014) and HPV-58 (P = 0.003) were significantly associated with HSIL; and HPV-16 (P = 0.005) was significantly associated with AGC. HPV-16, HPV-52 and HPV-58 are associated with different diagnoses in patients with positive cervical cytological findings.