The aim of the study was to tailor a future Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine campaign and to help perform early primary prevention of HPV infection in Taiwan, where the incidence of cervical cancer is high. A cross-sectional survey was conducted of 826 female students, ages 10, 13, 16 and 19-22 years. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information on risk factors for HPV infection. Serum samples were tested for antibodies to HPV 16 capsids using a virus-like particle-based enzyme-linked immunosorbence assay. The age-adjusted odds ratio of HPV seropositivity was calculated for each risk factor by multiple logistic regression analysis. HPV 16 antibodies were detected in 13 (1.6%) of 826 participants. The HPV 16 seroprevalence was 0.35% (1/ 287), 0.85% (2/235), 3.2% (6/185) and 3.4% (4/119), respectively, for age groups of 10, 13, 16 and 19-22 years. In the multiple regression analysis, the history of having sexual activity was the most significant risk predictor for HPV16 seropositivity. The seroprevalence of HPV16 increased dramatically among high school seniors and university students, and was significantly associated with sexual activity. Vaccination against HPV is suggested to be undertaken in early adolescence, before 16 years of age and prior to sexual debut.
ASJC Scopus subject areas