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Womens Health Issues. 2009 Sep-Oct;19(5):344-51. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2009.06.001. Epub 2009 Aug 12.

Exposure to high-risk genital human papillomavirus and its association with risky sexual practices and laboratory-confirmed chlamydia among African-American women.

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Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.



Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States and African-American women have the highest prevalence of high-risk HPV. This study examined exposure to high-risk HPV in African-American women and its relation to risky sexual practices and laboratory-confirmed chlamydia.


A sample of 665 African-American women between 18 and 29 years old, recruited from October 2002 to March 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia, completed an Audio Computer-Assisted Survey Interview assessing sociodemographics, health practices, and risky sexual practices. Participants also provided vaginal swab specimens assayed for STIs and high-risk HPV.


The overall prevalence of high-risk HPV was 38.9%. Among women 18 to 24 years old, it was 42.4%; it was 31% among women 25 to 29 years old. Age-stratified logistic regression analyses indicated that women between the ages of 18 and 29 and 18 and 24 who had multiple male sexual partners did not use a condom during their last casual sexual encounter and tested positive for chlamydia were significantly more likely to test positive for high-risk HPV. Women 18 to 24 years old who reported having a casual or risky sexual partner were significantly more likely to test positive for high-risk HPV. No significant correlates were identified among women 25 to 29 years old.


Programs should aim to educate, decrease risky sexual practices, and increase screening and treatment for STIs among women with high-risk HPV infections. HPV vaccination recommendations for young adult African-American women warrant special consideration.

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