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Potential Impact of Human Papillomavirus Vaccines on Public STD Clinic Workloads and on Opportunities to Diagnose and Treat Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Dempsey, Amanda F. MD, PhD, MPH*; Koutsky, Laura A. PhD; Golden, Matthew MD, MPH

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: July 2007 - Volume 34 - Issue 7 - p 503-507
doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000253337.62932.29

Background: Eradicating genital warts through HPV immunization could decrease STD clinic utilization but may result in missed opportunities to diagnose other STDs.

Objectives: To define the proportion of STD clinic visits attributable to HPV and to describe the prevalence of other STD diagnoses among visits for HPV-related presenting concerns.

Study Design: Cross-sectional analysis of medical records (1994–2004) from a single STD clinic. Prevalences of STDs were calculated for male and female patients with and without HPV-related presenting concerns.

Results: Of the 66,537 visits included in the study, 10.3% were HPV-related. Of the 3085 HPV-related “new problem” visits, only 281 non-HPV diagnoses were made, with nonspecific urethritis and CT being the most common diagnosis for males and females, respectively. Nearly 25% of the 14,574 follow-up visits were for HPV.

Conclusions: Newly developed HPV vaccines may substantially decrease public STD clinic workloads with little associated lost opportunity to diagnose and treat other STDs.

A retrospective study of medical records from an STD clinic in Washington State demonstrated that patients presenting specifically for HPV-related concerns had a low prevalence of other sexually transmitted infections.

From the *Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Departments of †Epidemiology and ‡Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

This work was supported by a 2005 developmental grant from the University of Washington STI TM Cooperative Research Center (STITMCRC), an NIH funded program (U19 AI 31448).

Correspondence: Amanda Dempsey, Department of Pediatrics, 300 N. Ingalls St., Room 6E08, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0456. E-mail:

Received for publication June 1, 2006, and accepted October 30, 2006.

© Copyright 2007 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association