(HealthDay News) — The national prevalence of three doses of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among adolescent girls is about 32.0 percent, and incidence rates for some HPV-associated cancers are increasing, according to a report published online Jan. 7 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Ahmedin Jemal, D.V.M., Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from national surveys to examine the prevalence of HPV vaccination coverage during 2008 and 2010 and of Papanicolaou (Pap) testing during 2010. Long- and short-term incidence trends for HPV-associated cancers were examined.

The researchers found that, for two HPV-associated cancers (oropharynx and anus), there was an increase in the incidence rates. In 2010, 32.0 percent of girls aged 13 to 17 years had received three doses of the HPV vaccine, nationally. Among uninsured (14.1 percent) and in some Southern states (e.g., Alabama and Mississippi, 20.0 percent), where cervical cancer rates were highest and prevalence of recent Pap testing lowest, coverage was significantly lower.

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“Primary prevention of HPV-associated cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancers is achieved through childhood vaccination of girls and boys, although vaccine coverage remains low compared with the Healthy People 2020 target of 80 percent, and strategies are needed to increase coverage among adolescents,” the authors write.

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