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Seroprevalence of HPV 6, 11, 16 and 18 and correlates of exposure in unvaccinated women aged 16–64 years in Puerto Rico


BACKGROUND:To understand risk factors for HPV exposure in Puerto Rican women, we evaluated HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18 serology in women aged living in the San Juan metropolitan area. METHODS:As part of a cross-sectional study, a population-based sample of 524 HPV unvaccinated Hispanic women ages 16-64 years completed face-to-face and computer assisted interviews and provided blood and self-collected anal and cervical specimens. Serology used multiplex virus-like particle based-IgG ELISA and HPV DNA was detected with L1-consensus PCR. RESULTS:32% and 47% were seropositive to HPV types included in the bivalent (16/18) and quadrivalent (6/11/16/18) vaccines, respectively. Type-specific seroprevalence was HPV6 - 29%, HPV11 - 18%, HPV16 - 23%, and HPV18 - 17%; seroprevalence was high in the youngest age-group (16-19: 26-37%). HPV seropositivity was associated with having ≥ 3 lifetime sexual partners (OR=2.5, 95% CI=1.7-3.9) and detection of anogenital HPV DNA (OR=1.8, 95% CI=1.2-2.6). CONCLUSIONS:The high cumulative exposure of HPV vaccine types 6/11/16/18 in this Hispanic population was influenced by factors related to HPV exposure through sexual behavior. High seroprevalence in the youngest age-group indicates early age of exposure to HPV in Puerto Rico, highlighting the need for HPV vaccination starting prior to age 16.

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