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International Health

Student Highlight
HPV Vaccine among Commercial Sex Workers in Peru

Brandon Brown, GDEC

HPV Study SurveyIn 2009 and 2010, investigators Brandon Brown, a doctoral student in the Department of International Health, his advisor IH Professor Neal Halsey, and Associate Professor Patti Gravitt from the Department of Epidemiology collaborated with Peruvian investigators to conduct a study of cervical and oral Human Papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence and the acceptability of HPV vaccine in brothel-based female sex workers in Lima, Peru. Two hundred participants were randomized to receive HPV4 in the standard or an alternative immunization schedule. Two-thirds of the women had one or more HPV types in the cervix documenting the high-risk nature of this population, in spite of high reported condom use. A subsample of participants are currently participating in a follow-up study which examines sensitivity of Pap smear testing in Lima, and additional HPV testing to identify new and recurrent HPV infections.