Lisa T. Wigfall, PhD, MCHES(R)Assistant Professor, Health and KinesiologyTexas A&M

HPV Vaccination Rates Low Among Adults at High-Risk for HIV Infection Interview with:

Lisa T. Wigfall, PhD, MCHES(R)Assistant Professor, Health and KinesiologyTexas A&M

Dr. Wigfall

Lisa T. Wigfall, PhD, MCHES(R)
Assistant Professor, Health and Kinesiology
Texas A&M What is the background for this study?

Response: Human papilloma virus (or HPV) is a very common sexually transmitted infection that can cause some types of cancer. These include anal, cervical, oral, penile, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. Some people such as people who are HIV-positive and men who have sex with men have a greater risk for developing HPV-associated cancers. The risk of developing anal cancer is significantly higher for men who have sex with men who are also HIV-positive.

Our study included adults who were at risk for becoming HIV-positive, which included having unprotected anal sex. What are the main findings? 

Response: HPV vaccination rates were low among adults in our study. However, HPV vaccination rates were similar between women and gay/bisexual men in our study. What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: I think what is most important is that people make an informed decision about the HPV vaccine – whether that be to get the HPV vaccine, or to not get the HPV vaccine.

Parents/caregivers of adolescent children – Talk to your child’s doctor about the HPV vaccine. If your doctor hasn’t brought it up to you, bring it up to them at your child’s next doctor visit. Keep in mind that your child will need to get 2-3 shots of the HPV vaccine. Also keep in mind that the HPV vaccine is most effective if your child gets it BEFORE they become sexually active.

Adults 18-45 years old – Talk to your doctor about the HPV vaccine. It is important for you to know that recently the Food and Drug Administration expanded the age for the HPV vaccine to include adults 27-45 years old. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: We have a long way to go towards realizing our nation’s goals of getting 80% of adolescent males and females vaccinated against HPV. This means that future research efforts will need to continue also focusing on catch-up HPV vaccination among adults who were not vaccinated as an adolescent. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: This research study was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under career development award number K01CA175239.

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, or the United States Government. 


AACR abstract: April 2019

HPV vaccination among adults at high-risk for HIV infection: A public health priority

Lisa T. Wigfall1, Shalanda A. Bynum2, Jessica Wells3, Jennifer K. McGee-Avila4, Nikita S. Wagle51Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; 2National Institutes of Health, Center for Scientific Review, Bethesda, MD; 3Emory University, Atlanta, GA; 4Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ; 5Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College Station, TX 

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Apr 3, 2019 @ 11:14 am 

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