Purpose To examine rates of human papillomavirus vaccine initiation, and characteristics associated with initiation, among a national sample of male and female young adults. Methods Participants (n = 3,448; 48% female) were recruited using a Web-based, respondent-driven sampling strategy and completed a Web-based survey between October and December 2010. Results A total of 45% of females and 4% of males initiated the vaccine. Females who were younger, never married, were in school, attended religious services less than once a month, were sexually active, and reported a greater number of lifetime sex partners, and who had been tested for human immunodeficiency virus were more likely to report initiation. Males who were African-American, attended religious services less than once a month, and reported a greater number of sex partners in their lifetime, and who had been tested for human immunodeficiency virus were more likely to report initiation. Conclusions Factors associated with human papillomavirus vaccine initiation may differ for males and females. Further research with larger samples of males is needed to fully understand characteristics associated with male initiation. Regardless of gender, however, most young adults who have not initiated sexual activity have not received the vaccine. Further research is needed to examine how to increase vaccination rates among this population, because they may benefit most from vaccination.
- Human papillomavirus
- Young adults
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health