Sexual orientation disparities in human papillomavirus vaccination among adolescent and young adult U.S. women aged 15-25 years
Objective: To investigate the relationship between sexual orientation identity and HPV vaccination in a nationally representative sample of U.S. women.
Methods: We used multivariable logistic regression to identify sexual orientation disparities in HPV vaccine initiation among 2,698 U.S. women aged 15-25 years who participated in the National Survey of Family Growth between 2007 and 2010 and had heard of the HPV vaccine.
Results: Among U.S. women aged 15-25 years who had heard of the HPV vaccine, 29.35% reported initiating HPV vaccination. Adjusting for covariates, lesbians had significantly lower odds of HPV vaccination relative to heterosexual women (odds ratio [OR] = 0.13; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.04, 0.45). Including health insurance status and sexual and reproductive health services use only slightly attenuated the OR to 0.19 (95% CI: 0.06, 0.61).
Discussion: This is the first study to document sexual orientation disparities in HPV vaccination in a nationally representative sample of U.S. women. Health care institutions should facilitate access to and utilization of HPV vaccination among girls and women of all sexual orientations. Programs geared towards young lesbians, who face numerous barriers to health care, are needed to reduce sexual orientation disparities in HPV vaccination among adolescent and young adult U.S. women.
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the risk of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection among lesbian women; explain the role of HPV vaccination in preventing infection by certain types of HPV and associated cancers; discuss the relationship between sexual orientation and HPV vaccination among adolescent and young adult U.S. women; identify strategies to help reduce sexual orientation disparities in HPV vaccination among young U.S. women
Keyword(s): Cancer and Women’s Health, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I received doctoral training in social epidemiology and women, gender, and health and have experience conducting research on social inequalities in women's sexual and reproductive health, including cervical cancer prevention and control. Most recently, I was principal investigator of a project on sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, and Pap test use among U.S. women.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.