Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are the most common sexually transmitted infections in North America and are associated with cervical cancer. A publicly-funded HPV immunization program was launched in the province of Quebec, Canada, in the fall of 2008. The aim of this study was to explore factors associated with HPV immunization among young adult women not targeted by this program.
A questionnaire was mailed to 2400 24-y-old women randomly selected from the Quebec provincial health insurance database and 56% responded. Factors associated with vaccination status were analyzed using a multivariate logistic regression model.
Few women had received at least one dose of HPV vaccine among the 1347 respondents. Age at first sexual intercourse = 20 y, participating in cervical cancer screening, higher education level, being born in Quebec and some positive beliefs about HPV were associated with vaccination.
The rate of immunization in women who had to pay for the HPV vaccine was very low and was associated with characteristics that are generally associated with a lower risk for HPV infection and cervical cancer. Efforts are needed to reach at-risk adult women.