Background: Baseline genotype-specific human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence rates and associated risk factors per gender enable future assessment of the impact of vaccination on HPV dynamics.
Methods: Before the start of national HPV vaccination for girls, data were collected cross-sectionally in nationwide Dutch sexually transmitted infections (STI) clinics among heterosexual males (n = 430) and females (n = 1136) aged 16 to 24 years. Self-collected vaginal or penile swabs were analyzed by a sensitive polymerase chain reaction (SPF10) and genotyped with line probe assay. Logistic regression was applied to estimate determinants of HPV prevalent infections.
Results: HPV prevalence was 54% among males and 72% among females. High-risk (HR) HPV was present in males and females, 40% and 58%, respectively.
Independent risk factors for HR-HPV infection were female gender, number of lifetime sex partners and a history of chlamydia or gonorrhea. In addition, not having a casual partner and consistent condom use were protective factors in women, but not in men. For low-risk (LR) HPV, the odds were smaller. Multiple HR-HPV and sexual risk behavior showed a stronger association compared with a single HR-HPV infection.
Conclusions: Prevalence of HR-HPV is high in both genders. Infection with multiple HR-HPV types was more associated with high-risk sexual behavior than infection with LR-HPV types or a single HR-HPV type.