Comparing risk behaviours of human papillomavirus-vaccinated and non-vaccinated women

Laura Sadler, Stephen A Roberts, Gail Hampal, Dona McManus, Debashis Mandal, Loretta Brabin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Since September 2008, a national vaccine programme in the UK has offered routine human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination to young women aged 12-13 years. A catch-up programme also offered HPV vaccination to women born after 1 September 1990.

AIM: To compare indicators of risk and preventive behaviours among young women attending genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics who had, and had not, received at least one dose of HPV vaccine.

METHODS: Clinical histories and HPV vaccination status were obtained from 363 participants eligible for HPV vaccination (Cervarix(®)) in the UK vaccination programme (born after 1 September 1990) attending GUM clinics in the North West of England. Using logistic regression, markers of sexual and non-sexual risk behaviours were compared between vaccinated and unvaccinated women.

RESULTS: At least one dose of HPV vaccine had been received by 63.6% (n=231) of participants. Unvaccinated women demonstrated higher levels of risky behaviour than those who had undergone HPV vaccination. Unvaccinated women were significantly more likely to have had three or more partners in the last 6 months, attended the clinic with symptoms, not used a condom at first sexual intercourse, had anal intercourse with their last sexual contact, to have tested positive for Chlamydia trachomatis diagnosis at the clinic visit and to be a current smoker.

CONCLUSIONS: In the UK, where vaccine coverage is high, failure to initiate HPV vaccination amongst GUM attendees is a marker of high-risk behaviours. As a result, HPV vaccination status should be ascertained as part of an individual's clinical history by sexual health services to ensure advice and counselling is provided to those at greatest risk of HPV-associated disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-8
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


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