Lower HPV Uptake for Women in UK Sexual Health Services

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Lower HPV Uptake for Women Attending Sexual Health Services
Lower HPV Uptake for Women Attending Sexual Health Services

(HealthDay News) — For young women attending sexual health services in England, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination uptake and completion rates are lower than national data, with an overall completion rate of 47%, according to a study published online March 17 in Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Rachel J. Sacks, MBBS, from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in London, and colleagues examined HPV vaccine uptake among young women (aged 13–19 years) attending 19 hospital-based and 13 community-based sexual health services across England. The women completed anonymous questionnaires, and data from 2,247 questionnaires were used to examine vaccine uptake and the prevalence of HPV risk factors.

The researchers found that, compared to national data, respondents had higher smoking rates, coitarche under-16, and previous sexually transmitted infections. In addition, a higher proportion of respondents were not in education, employment, or training (NEET). Vaccination had been offered to 745 of respondents, with rates significantly lower for those in London, non-white ethnicities, 17–19-year-olds, NEETs, smokers, and those with previous sexually transmitted infections (all P<0.05 in multivariate analysis). Among those offered vaccination, completion rates were 65%, with significantly lower rates for those in London, non-white ethnicities, 17–19-year-olds, NEETs, smokers, and those with previous sexually transmitted infection. The overall completion rate within the cohort was 47%.

"This survey highlights an opportunity for primary prevention by routinely offering the HPV vaccine to eligible women attending sexual health services," the authors write.

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