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Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Rates by Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Among 18–44-Year-Olds in the U.S.

3 May 2021

Publication Date
03 May 2021

Original Abstract

In the U.S., human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has been recommended for individuals up to age 26, although the vaccination is currently approved for all people up to the age of 45. This research sought to explore HPV vaccination disparities by age with subgroup analysis by gender identity and sexual orientation groups, as well as sociodemographic factors that may serve as barriers to or facilitators of vaccination. This study used data from the 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Only data for individuals who reported their gender identity, sexual orientation, and HPV vaccination status were included in the analytic sample (n = 7330). HPV vaccination rates for this sample were low, as only 18.2% (n = 1332) of the sample had received the HPV vaccination. These low rates of vaccination were similar across all subsamples: cisgender men (9.8%, n = 343), cisgender women (25.8%, n = 985), heterosexuals (17.5%, n = 1197), lesbian women or gay men (20.8%, n = 40), and bisexuals (30.8%, n = 95). In multivariable logistic regression models, younger participants (18–34) were more likely to report receiving the HPV vaccination across all subsamples. Further modeling indicated several common factors associated with higher odds of vaccination: living in a metropolitan area, having insurance coverage, and having at least one provider. Understanding vaccination disparities, as well as vaccination facilitators and barriers, is important to inform policy and program efforts. This is especially significant for adults between the ages of 35 and 44 who were excluded from the initial vaccination recommendations but are vulnerable due to changing cultural norms, including delayed marriage, nonmonogamous long-term relationships, and the ending of long-term partnerships.

Griffin, M., Jaiswal, J. & Stults, C. B. (2021). Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Rates by Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Among 18–44-Year-Olds in the U.S. Archives of Sexual Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-020-01900-x

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human papillomavirus, sexually transmitted infection, LGBTQ, vaccine access, gender identity, sexual orientation


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