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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Differences between African-American adolescent females with and without human papillomavirus infection

Puja Seth* A B G * , Gina M. Wingood A B , Ralph J. DiClemente A B C D , Richard A. Crosby E F , Laura F. Salazar A B , Eve S. Rose A and Jessica M. Sales A B

A Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

B Center for AIDS Research, Prevention Science Core, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

C Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology, and Immunology, 2015 Uppergate Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

D Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases), 1440 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

E College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, 121 Washington Avenue, Lexington, KY 40536-0003, USA.

F Rural Center for AIDS and STD Prevention, Indiana University, 801 East 7th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.

G Corresponding author. Email: pseth@cdc.gov

Sexual Health 8(1) 125-127 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SH10107
Submitted: 31 August 2010  Accepted: 23 September 2010   Published: 24 January 2011

Abstract

Background: An important policy question is whether high-risk populations can be identified and prioritised for human papillomavirus (HPV) immunisation. Methods: Data collection included an audio computer-assisted survey interview and testing of Trichomonas vaginalis, Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and HPV among 295 African-American adolescent females. Results: The results indicated that 43.1% tested positive for HPV. Logistic regression analyses indicated that HPV prevalence was not associated with other sexually transmissible infections (prevalence ratio (PR) = 0.85, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.51–1.41), unprotected vaginal sex (PR = 1.04, 95% CI = 0.56–1.92), having sex with an older male partner (PR = 1.12, 95% CI = 0.64–1.96), and having a casual partner (PR = 0.89, 95% CI = 0.54–1.48). Additionally, t-tests indicated that HPV prevalence was not associated with frequency of vaginal sex (t = 0.17, P = 0.87), protected sex (t = –0.16, P = 0.87), number of recent (t = 0.40, P = 0.69) or lifetime (t = 1.45, P = 0.15) sexual partners. However, those testing positive for HPV were younger (t = 1.97, P = 0.05) and reported current use of birth control pills (PR = 2.38, 95% CI = 1.00–5.63). Conclusions: It may not be possible to identify those with elevated risk of HPV acquisition. Thus, HPV vaccination, regardless of risk indicators, may be the most efficacious public health strategy.

Additional keywords: African-American, adolescents, human papillomavirus.


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