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Human Papillomavirus Vaccine and Sexual Behavior Among Adolescent and Young Women

      Background

      Vaccines to prevent certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and associated cancers are recommended for routine use among young women. Nationally representative reports of vaccine uptake have not explored the relationship between HPV vaccine initiation and various sexual behaviors.

      Purpose

      Explore sexual behavior and demographic correlates of HPV vaccine initiation from a nationally representative survey of adolescent and young adult women.

      Methods

      In 2007–2008, a total of 1243 girls/women aged 15–24 years responded to questions about receiving HPV vaccine in the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG). In 2010, demographic and sexual behavior correlates were evaluated in bivariate and multivariate analyses by age.

      Results

      HPV vaccine initiation was higher among those aged 15–19 years than those aged 20–24 years (30.3% vs 15.9%, p<0.001). No differences existed by race/ethnicity for those aged 15–19 years, but among women aged 20–24 years, non-Hispanic blacks were less likely than non-Hispanic whites to have received the HPV vaccine (AOR=0.15). HPV vaccine initiation was greater for those with insurance regardless of age. HPV vaccination was not associated with being sexually active or number of sex partners at either age. Among sexually active adolescents aged 15–19 years, those who received HPV vaccine were more likely to always wear a condom (AOR=3.0).

      Conclusions

      This study highlights disparities in HPV vaccine initiation by insurance status among girls/women aged 15–24 years and by race/ethnicity among women aged >19 years. No association was found between HPV vaccination and risky sexual behavior.
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