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J Infect Dis. 1996 Oct;174(4):679-89.

Sexual behavior and partner characteristics are the predominant risk factors for genital human papillomavirus infection in young women.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.


Risk factors for cervicovaginal human papillomavirus (HPV) infection were investigated in 604 college women. HPV was detected in 168 (27.8%) of the subjects by L1 consensus primer polymerase chain reaction, Southern blot hybridization, or both. Significant independent risk factors for HPV (P < .05) included age (odds ratios [ORs]: 2.6 for 21-23 years old and 1.6 for > 23, vs. < or = 20), ethnicity (ORs: 3.2 for black, 2.2 for Hispanic, vs. white/other), number of lifetime male vaginal sex partners (ORs: 4.5 for 2, 5.8 for 3 or 4, 10.3 for > or = 5, vs. 1), living with smokers (OR: 1.9), male partner's number of lifetime sex partners (ORs: 2.1 for 2 or 3, 3.1 for 4-10, 2.7 for > or = 11, vs. 1), duration of sexual relationship for > 12 months (OR: 0.6), and male partner currently in college (OR: 0.6). These data demonstrate that the predominant risk factors for genital HPV infection in young women are related not only to their own sexual behaviors but also to those of their male partners.

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