Vaccine-Type HPV Rates Low in Unvaccinated Women

HealthDay News — From 2009-2010 to 2013-2014, there was a decrease in the prevalence of vaccine-type human papillomavirus (HPV) among unvaccinated young women aged 18 to 26 years, according to a study published online in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Abbey B Berenson, MD, PhD, from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and colleagues examined changes in prevalence of vaginal HPV between 2009-2010 and 2013-2014 among US women aged 18 to 59 years.

The researchers found that the prevalence of vaccine-type HPV decreased significantly from 2009-2010 to 2013-2014 among women aged 18 to 59 years. When the sample was stratified into 4 age groups, this decline was significant only among those aged 18 to 26 years.

HPV prevalence remained low from 2009-2010 to 2013-2014 (3.9% to 2%) among vaccinated 18- to 26-year-olds (prevalence ratio [PR].51; 95% CI, .18 to 1.46). A significant decrease over time was seen among unvaccinated women aged 18 to 26 years, from 19.5% in 2009-2010 to 9.7% in 2013-2014 (PR .44; 95% CI, .22 to .91). Among unvaccinated women aged 26 years or older, prevalence did not change significantly.

“The decline in HPV infections among unvaccinated 18- to 26-year-old women suggests that young women in the United States are beginning to benefit from herd immunity resulting from the introduction of the HPV vaccine,” the researchers concluded.

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Berenson AB, Hirth JM, Chang M. Change in the human papillomavirus prevalence among US women aged 18-59 years, 2009-2014 [published September 5, 2017]. Obstet Gynecol. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002193