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Home HPV Research HPV Research Special Report: 2010 STD Prevention Conference

Special Report: 2010 STD Prevention Conference

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With more than 1,300 researchers, healthcare providers, and public health workers in attendance, the 2010 STD Prevention Conference was held in Atlanta, GA in early March. Numerous presentations presented data on HPV-related topics, and a few notable findings are summarized below.

“High risk” HPV types are common among women over age 301

A study done with over 1,200 women (average age 41 years) offers a reminder that HPV and cervical cancer prevention programs need to focus on women in all age groups. The investigators found 13% of women age 30 and over have at least one “high risk” HPV type. Among those with concurrent (overlapping) partners, “high risk” HPV prevalence was 16%. Women with a new partner in the last six months were twice as likely to have “high risk” HPV.

Factors Associated with Rectal HPV Infections in Men2

Investigators examining links between demographics, drug use and rectal HPV infection in a low-income, minority males found methamphetamine use was an important risk factor for rectal infections with HPV, including” high risk” viral types. Other factors associated with rectal HPV infections include having sex with men and women, being HIV-positive, and having unprotected receptive anal sex. The authors say the “strong” HIV/HPV link points to the need for testing in HIV-positive men.

Young Women and Barriers to STD Testing3

Research with young women suggests we have a long way to go to make them more comfortable with (and better educated about) STD testing. A study with 18-24 women found a number of factors that make them reluctant to seek testing, including having a male health care provider (88% indicated this is an issue), seeing a family practice provider rather than an STD specialist (79%), being nervous about testing (62%), and having STD testing in their records (31%). The young women surveyed were frequently also unsure as to which infections were covered in common STI screening, and many thought STIs were diagnosed primarily by a health care provider detecting symptoms with a visual exams (77% thought genital herpes is diagnosed this way).

Overcoming barriers to STD testing and care is important with young women for a number of reasons. Approximately half of the 19 million new STI cases in the U.S. each year occur in young people under age 25, and CDC data indicate approximately 25% of girls between the ages of 14-19 have at least one STI. Young women have greater biological susceptibility to STI and tend to have worse outcomes: Undetected, chlamydia and gonorrhea (which are easily and inexpensively tested for and treated) can spread to the upper genital tract and cause PID. Untreated PID is associated with chronic pelvic pain, tubal pregnancies and infertility.

HPV Vaccine Uptake Remains Low4

In 2006 the first HPV vaccine came to market and was approved for females ages 9-26 (a second vaccine became available in 2009). CDC research indicates most eligible girls haven’t received the vaccine, though: 2% of 8-10 years olds, 15% of 11-12 years olds, and 25% of 13-17 years olds have had the first dose, and the percentage of those receiving second and third doses is even lower. Lack of knowledge about the vaccines and believing their child doesn’t need the vaccine were cited as common barriers. Some parents thought their child didn’t need the vaccine because they weren’t sexually active. That HPV vaccine uptake is so low among girls 17 and under is troubling, given the vaccine is most effective when provided to females prior to the onset of sexual activity (and before exposure to HPV).

View the entire Conference program, including abstracts, at http://cdc.confex.com/cdc/std2010/webprogram/meeting.html


1. Marjan Javanbakht, Pamina Gorbach, Peter Kerndt, Laura Koutsky, Judith Shlay, Deblina Datta. Concurrency, Risk Behaviors, and High Risk Human Papillomavirus Among Older Women. Oral presentation A9b at the 2010 STD Prevention Conference, Atlanta, GA. http://cdc.confex.com/cdc/std2010/webprogram/Paper21726.html

2. Ryan Murphy, Pamina Gorbach, Robert Weiss, Ross Cranston, Christopher Hucks-Ortiz, Maria Da Costa, Steven Shoptaw. Rectal HPV Infection in Men: Associations with Demographics, Drug Use and HIV Infection. Oral presentation C6f at the 2010 STD Prevention Conference, Atlanta, GA. http://cdc.confex.com/cdc/std2010/webprogram/Paper22035.html

3. Heather Royer. Young Women’s Beliefs About the Barriers to STD Testing and Their Knowledge of the STD Testing Process. Poster presentation P98 at the 2010 STD Prevention Conference, Atlanta, GA. http://cdc.confex.com/cdc/std2010/webprogram/Paper21840.html

4. Charlene Wong, Zahava Berkowitz,Jennifer Wai Lee, Mona Saraiya. National HPV Vaccine Uptake and Vaccination Predictors and Barriers for Girls 8–17 Years Old—United States, 2008. Oral presentation LBb at the 2010 STD Prevention Conference, Atlanta, GA. http://cdc.confex.com/cdc/std2010/webprogram/Paper22960.html