Statistic Breakdown of Indiana University School of Medicine Primary HPV Study

Study reveals high infection rate in teens for virus linked to cervical cancer

Based on 60 study participants from three primary-care clinics in Indianapolis HPV rates reported in previous research have been underestimated. The latest study indicates four out of five sexually active adolescent females are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Human papillomavirus is a common sexually transmitted infection, and its effects may range from no symptoms to genital warts to cervical cancer.

Researchers have concluded that the high HPV infection rate in sexually active adolescent females for is linked to the onset of to cervical cancer in later life.

Statistical break down of the 60 Study Participants

Age of Study participants — 14 to 17

95% of the participants were sexually active

Median number of sexual partners — 2

85% were African American

11% were Caucasian

3% were Hispanic.

Study Methodology

Quarterly visits to a primary-care clinic for a cervical swab test 5 three-month diary collection periods (self recorded daily sexual activity) Self-performed, weekly vaginal swabbing

Average Participation in study — 2-years

Total swab specimens collected and analyzed for HPV infection — 2,100

49 of 60 study participants tested positive for HPV infection (82% prevalence rate)

HPV-positive study participants were infected with not just one, but also multiple, HPV types.

Mean number of HPV types per participant — 5

Number of those HPV types associated with an increased risk for cervical cancer:

39 % of the swab specimens were classified as high-risk types

20 % as low-risk

37% of study participants had at least one abnormal result for cervical examination during the study period.

“Brown and colleagues hypothesized that relative to earlier research, the high cumulative prevalence of HPV infection in their study was primarily a result of the high number of swab specimens obtained from each study participant. Many infections were detectable for only a few weeks and might have been missed had specimens been obtained at longer intervals of time.

They also attributed the high prevalence to their use of a test that detects more HPV types than some other tests do, and to the at-risk nature of this particular study population.” (2)


(1) Jan. 15 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases

Research report, Dr. Darron Brown and colleagues at the IU School of Medicine

(2) Indiana University

IU Home Pages

400 E. 7th Street. Bloomington, IN 47405

Phone: (812) 855-6494

Publication Date: March 11, 2005



Author: H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik

I started the Inconvenient Woman Blog in 2007, and am the product of a long line of inconvenient women. The matriarchal line is French-Canadian, Roman Catholic, with a very feisty Irish great-grandmother thrown in for sheer bloody mindedness. I am a research analyst and author who has made her living studying technical data, and developing articles, training materials, books and web content. Tracking through statistical data, and oblique cross-references to find the relevant connections that identifies a problem, or explains a path of action, is my passion. I love clearly delineating the magic questions of knowledge: Who, What, Why, When, Where and for How Much, Paid to Whom. My life lessons: listen carefully, question with boldness, and personally verify the answers. I look at America through the appreciative eyes of an immigrant, and an amateur historian; the popular and political culture is a ceaseless fascination. I have no impressive initials after my name. I’m merely an observer and a chronicler, an inconvenient woman who asks questions, and sometimes encourages others to look at things differently.