Background In 2008, a schools-based HPV vaccination programme was introduced for girls aged 12–13, with an accelerated catch up programme for those aged 14–18. A significant impact on cervical cancer rates requires 80% uptake of three vaccinations, however in England the completion rate was 58% in 2009/10.
Aim To compare HPV vaccination outcomes and prevalence of risk factors, associated with HPV acquisition and cervical cancer development, in young women attending GUM clinics with national data.
Method An anonymous questionnaire was given to 13–19 y/old women attending 19 participating GUM clinics from March to August 2011. Data were analysed using multivariate linear regression in SPSS.
Results 2247 questionnaires were completed (median respondent age 17). Compared to national data, respondents were more likely to be smokers (48% vs 12% of 15 y/olds), have had coitarche aged <16 (52% vs 26%), have had an STI previously (29% vs 13% for <16 coitarche) or not be in education, employment or training (NEET) (8% vs 2% of 16 y/olds). Of the 74% offered the vaccination, 81% accepted. Of those accepting the vaccination, 81% had all three injections. Of those who had <3 doses, 65% reported no active recall. Overall, 47% of all respondents had received all three vaccine doses. Completion rates were lower in London, non-white ethnicities, 17–19 y/olds, NEETs, smokers and those with previous Chlamydia (all p<0.0001).
Discussion The study population exhibited lower HPV vaccination completion rates than the national average, demonstrating that GUM attendees are a harder-to-reach group through current PCT delivery programmes. This population also exhibited higher rates of risk factors for HPV acquisition, highlighting GUM attendees as a priority target group for HPV vaccination. This data demonstrates the potential role of GUM clinics as supplementary HPV vaccination delivery sites, in targeting at-risk young women with low uptake of the HPV vaccination.