HPV prevalence is highest among women in their early twenties and decreases with age. While many risk factors for HPV infections in adolescent and young women are well-defined (including reports of new sex partners), it is unclear whether seeking sex partners via Internet dating or social networking websites is associated with increased risk of HPV infection. In our ongoing longitudinal study of high-risk (HR HPV) infections in 25-65 year old women who date online, having met recent partners online (versus via other means) was associated with an increased risk of HR HPV infection, but studies of younger heterosexual women have been equivocal. Understanding population-specific risk factors for HPV infection are critical to developing accurate public health messages and HPV prevention strategies. To examine risk factors for HR HPV infections in 18-24 year old online daters, we propose a longitudinal study of 200 women in the United States who have used online dating websites in the past year. Women will be recruited through the Internet. For one year, women will be asked to mail in four sets of self-collected vaginal specimens for HPV DNA testing (at 0, 4, 8, and 12 months), and to complete questionnaires on their health and sexual behavior (at 0, 4, 8, and 12 months) and attitudes towards self-collecting vaginal samples (at the end of study participation). Vaginal samples will be tested for type-specific HPV DNA using a PCR-based assay. The study protocol will be identical to our ongoing study of HR HPV infections in 25-65 year old women, and will thus also allow us to directly compare prevalence and incidence of HR HPV infections in 25-65 year old women (whose rates of HPV infection are higher than those reported in the literature) to 18-24 year old women.
The specific aims of are to 1) identify risk factors for HR HPV infections in 18-24 year old women who date online;2) compare the prevalence and incidence of HR HPV in 18-24 year old women to the prevalence and incidence of HR HPV in older (25-44 year old and 45-65 year old) women previously recruited and followed with an identical protocol;and 3) evaluate study participants'experiences with self-collecting vaginal samples and general interest in diagnostic kits for self-collecting vaginal samples for HPV and other STI testing.
Relevance: Findings from this study of HR HPV in 18-24 year old women who date online will inform population-specific public health messages and HPV prevention strategies.
|Ma, Sharon; Stern, Joshua E; Feng, Qinghua et al. (2017) Incidence and risk factors for human papillomavirus infections in young female online daters. J Med Virol 89:2029-2036|
|Barrere, Alexis; Stern, Joshua E; Feng, Qinghua et al. (2015) Oncogenic Human Papillomavirus Infections in 18- to 24-Year-Old Female Online Daters. Sex Transm Dis 42:492-7|
|Huang, Claire E; Cassels, Susan L; Winer, Rachel L (2015) Self-reported sex partner dates for use in measuring concurrent sexual partnerships: correspondence between two assessment methods. Arch Sex Behav 44:873-83|