HPV Prevalence Among Teens Down Thanks to Vaccine


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Photo courtesy of William Perugini/Shutterstock.com

A study reported in the March 2016 journal Pediatrics compared human papillomavirus infection rates among U.S. teen girls and young women before and after vaccination against the cancer-causing virus was introduced in 2006. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, they found:

  • Among females ages 14-19, prevalence of the HPV types targeted by the vaccines dropped from 11.5 percent during 2003-2006 to 4.3 percent during 2009-2012.
  • Among women ages 20-24, prevalence of the HPV types targeted by the vaccines dropped from 18.5 percent to 12.1 percent.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say this study also provides the first national evidence of an impact on HPV prevalence among females in their 20s. Study authors say that while their findings are encouraging, the number of young people receiving the vaccine has increased more slowly than expected.

STATISTICS

42 percent of girls between ages 13 to 17 in the U.S. received the recommended three-dose HPV vaccine series.

22 percent of boys ages 13 to17 in the U.S. received the recommended three-dose HPV vaccine series.

Katherine Kopp is a freelance writer and editor in Chapel Hill.

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