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Prevalence of genital human papillomavirus DNA in a sample of senior school-aged women in the Australian Capital Territory

journal contribution
posted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by E O`Keefe, A Gardner, M Currie, S Garland, S Tabrizi, F Bowden
Background: A strong association between persistent infection with oncogenic types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer is well established. Small numbers of international studies examining adolescent HPV infection and the risk factors associated are published, but there is currently no evidence on the prevalence and risk factors for HPV in an Australian, sexually active female adolescent population. Methods: To provide prevalence and risk factors for HPV in a female sexually active, senior high school population in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), a convenience sample of 161, 16–19-year-old females attending a senior high school was evaluated. The sample formed part of a larger sample recruited for a study of sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne viruses in senior high school students. A clinical record was used to collect information about sexual and other risk behaviours, while self-collected vaginal swabs were tested for HPV DNA detection and genotyping using polymerase chain reaction. Results: The prevalence of HPV DNA in this sample overall was 11.2%, with multiple genotypes in 38%. No statistically significant associations were found between HPV DNA and the number of male partners, age of coitarche, time since first sexually active, condom use, smoking or alcohol intake. Conclusions: This is the first Australian study that has examined the prevalence and risk factors for genital HPV in this demographic group. The prevalence of HPV infection is slightly lower than reported in similar age groups overseas and is lower than other Australian studies in older women and those attending sexual health centres. Of HPV-positive young women, high-risk genotypes were found in over half, with more than one-third of HPV existing as multiple genotypes. Large community-based prevalence studies are needed to guide the development of recommendations for the vaccination of young women against HPV and to support other health promotion initiatives.

History

Journal

Sexual health

Volume

3

Issue

2

Pagination

91 - 94

Publisher

CSIRO Publishing

Location

Collingwood, Vic.

ISSN

1448-5028

eISSN

1449-8987

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2006, CSIRO

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