HPV Vaccination and Oral HPV Infections in Young Adults in the United States


Key Points

  • At least 1 dose of HPV vaccine was received before age 26 years by 18.3%, including 29.2% of women and 6.9% of men.
  • For vaccinated vs unvaccinated persons, oral HPV infection rates were 0.11% vs 1.61% overall, 0.0% vs 2.13% in males, and 0.14% vs 0.97% in females.

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Chaturvedi et al found that whereas prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has reduced the incidence of oral HPV infection in young adults compared with no vaccination, low uptake of the vaccine has resulted in a modest overall population-level preventive effect, particularly in young men.

Study Details

The study involved cross-sectional analysis of data from 2,627 men and women aged 18 to 33 years in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2011 and 2014. Oral HPV infection with vaccine types 16, 18, 6, or 11 was compared by HPV vaccination status according to self-reported receipt of at least one dose of HPV vaccine. The analysis was adjusted for age, sex, and race.

Vaccine Use and Preventive Effect

Between 2011 and 2014, 18.3% of individuals reported receiving at least one dose of HPV vaccine before age 26 years, including 29.2% of women and 6.9% of men (P < .001). The prevalence of oral HPV 16/18/6/11 infection was 0.11% in vaccinated individuals vs 1.61% in unvaccinated individuals (P = .008), representing a reduction in prevalence of 88.2%. The prevalence of oral HPV 16/18/6/11 infection for vaccinated vs unvaccinated individuals was 0.0% vs 2.13% in males (P = .007) and 0.14% vs 0.97% in females (P = .087).

The analysis accounting for vaccine uptake showed that the population-level effect of vaccination on the prevalence of oral HPV 16/18/6/11 infection was a 17.0% overall reduction, including 25.0% in women and 6.9% in men.

The investigators concluded: “HPV vaccination was associated with reduction in vaccine-type oral HPV prevalence among young U.S. adults. However, because of low vaccine uptake, the population-level effect was modest overall and particularly low in men.”

The study was supported in part by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the National Cancer Institute.

Maura L. Gillison, MD, PhD, of Thoracic/Head & Neck Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is the corresponding author of the Journal of Clinical Oncology article. 

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.