University of Iowa College of Public Health study

reports LGBTQ cancer rates on the rise in early report

-Low rates of HPV vaccinations found in the study-

Special to GoGuide Magazine from the University of Iowa College of Public Health

“Indeed, the latest summary of state cancer epidemiology data noted rising levels of HPV-related cancers”

Results section of paper – Examining the sub-set of respondents younger than age 40, less than half (41.8%) had received any HPV vaccination. Compared to ciswomen, cismen had 78% lower odds of HPV vaccination but there was no difference for transgender/genderqueer individuals.

Examining sexual orientation differences, bisexual/pansexual respondents had over four-times higher odds of HPV vaccination and queer/other individuals had two-times higher odds of HPV vaccination compared to gay/lesbian respondent.

The majority (80.0%) of those who had received any HPV vaccine reported two or three doses, suggesting high levels of vaccination series completion among those who initiated it.

Respondents who reported no HPV vaccine received a follow-up question about discussing it with a health care provider. The majority (70.9%) had not brought it up with a provider while a minority (20.5%) reported that they or a health care provider had brought it up but they had not received HPV vaccine. A small proportion of respondents (3.3%) had been refused HPV vaccine by a health care provider when they brought it up.

Discussion section of paper – Among protective behaviors, we are encouraged to find the high HPV vaccination completion rate but also note considerable room for improvement in HPV vaccine uptake. Less than half of participants who were plausibly eligible for HPV vaccine had received it.

HPV vaccination is a key cancer prevention strategy and is emerging as a priority in Iowa. Indeed, the latest summary of state cancer epidemiology data noted rising levels of HPV-related cancers. Only a small minority of our survey participants were refused HPV vaccine when they brought it up with a health care provider; however, a majority indicated that neither they nor their provider initiated a discussion.

We believe this suggests a need to improve capacity to engage in discussions about HPV vaccination. Potential interventions may include coaching for sexual and gender minority patients or prompts for health care providers to discuss the benefits of HPV vaccination..

(Editors note: These are yet unpublished results. The college plans to submit results soon)