Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine completion was higher among sexual and gender minority (SGM) young adults with higher levels of education, hepatitis A or B vaccination, and completed health visits, a recent study found. Researchers collected cross-sectional data from electronic health records of SGM patients receiving primary care at a Boston community health center specialized in SGM health. They employed a binomial logistic regression model to identify factors associated with 3-dose HPV vaccine completion. Among the findings:
- 26.9% of patients (mean age 26.3 years, 70% white) identified as gender minorities and 79% as sexual minorities.
- 49% of patients had 4-year college or graduate degrees, 59% were employed, 66% had private insurance, 39% were living at or below the federal poverty level, and 8.3% were living with HIV.
- 77% of patients who were offered HPV vaccination had completed the series.
- Factors significantly associated with HPV vaccine completion included: 4-year college or graduate degree, completion of primary care appointments, hepatitis A or B vaccine completion, and visits for a sextually transmitted infection (STI) screen.
Apaydin KZ, Fontenot HB, Borba CPC, et al. Three-dose HPV vaccine completion among sexual and gender minority young adults at a Boston community health center. [Published online ahead of print July 5, 2018]. Vaccine. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.06.057.
This study, from one particular health center, did show an increase in acceptance and receipt of the HPV vaccine in sexual and gender minorities. This particular group is not necessarily more likely to follow other screening recommendations for other health conditions as compared to some of the larger groups in our society. I think this most likely reflects that this particular health center has a strong belief in the efficacy of this vaccine and translates this strong endorsement to the patient population. With regard to vaccines, a strong endorsement from a healthcare provider, especially to patients willing to listen to these recommendations, will usually lead to the highest immunization rates. —John Russell, MD