HPV infection; Prevalence; Southern region; Geographic disparities


Epidemiology | Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health | Women's Health


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection worldwide and has been linked to several cancers, including cervical cancer. In the United States, the Southern region has a disproportionate burden of cervical cancer, and research about the epidemiology of HPV in the region is scarce. This study estimates the prevalence and correlates of HPV infection among 14–59 year-old females.

Data from 4,250 females aged 14–59 years collected during the 2007–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were used. We estimated the prevalence of HPV infection for the South and the rest of the country. We performed weighted chi-square test and logistic regression to examine the association between HPV infection and various demographics.

Among 14–26 year-old females, the prevalence of high-risk oncogenic HPV types was 25.6% (95% confidence (CI): 22.4 ̶ 33.3) in the South and 29.1% (95% CI: 24.8 ̶ 33.8) in the rest of the country (p= 0.15). Among 27–59 year-old women, infection from high-risk oncogenic types was 20.9% (95% CI: 17.4 ̶ 24.9) in the South compared to 14.5% (95% CI: 12.9 ̶ 16.3) in the rest of the country (p=0.0001).

This study found a higher prevalence of infection from high-risk oncogenic types among 27 ̶ 59 year-old females in the South compared to the rest of the country, but not among the 14 ̶ 26 year-olds. These findings highlight the importance of promoting HPV vaccination as well as cervical cancer screening, particularly in the Southern region.


Not applicable.