• disparities;
  • HPV;
  • human papillomavirus;
  • vaccine;
  • young adults

ABSTRACT Objective: To examine racial and ethnic disparities in human papillomavirus (HPV) awareness and vaccination among young adult females aged 18–24 years.

Design and Sample: Descriptive correlational study. One thousand nineteen women aged 18–24 years who self-identified as Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, or non-Hispanic White.

Measures: Descriptive and multivariate logistic regression analyses using data from the 2007–2008 National Survey of Family Growth.

Results: Approximately 90% of non-Hispanic White women, 80% of non-Hispanic Black women, and 56–60% of Hispanic women reported an awareness of HPV infection and vaccination, and yet, vaccine receipt across racial and ethnic groups was 23%, 8%, and 6%, respectively. In multivariate analyses, Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black women were less aware than non-Hispanic White women of HPV infection (OR=0.10, 95% CI=0.05, 0.19; OR=0.23, 95% CI=0.13, 0.40) and vaccination (OR=0.13, 95% CI=0.07, 0.27; OR=0.27, 95% CI=0.14, 0.52) and also less likely to report vaccine receipt (OR=0.44, 95% CI=0.21, 0.90; OR=0.16, 95% CI=0.07, 0.35).

Conclusions: Despite moderate to high levels of awareness, HPV vaccination rates were low among this national population of young adult women. Continued surveillance is imperative to monitor vaccine uptake, including racial and ethnic disparities. Further research exploring HPV knowledge and vaccination barriers across diverse cultural groups is needed to inform the development of more effective public health interventions.