Health inequities in human papillomavirus prevention, diagnostics and clinical care in the USA: a scoping review

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Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) represents the most common STI in the USA. HPV inequities in prevention, diagnostics and clinical care persist. We define inequities as systematic, avoidable and unfair differences in health outcomes. Objectives: The objectives of this scoping review are to chart existing data on HPV-related inequities, identify gaps in existing literature and guide future research to reduce these inequities. Methods: We completed a scoping review following guidelines from the Joanna Briggs Institute and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses scoping reviews extension. We performed a literature search on PubMed and Ovid Embase in July 2022 for articles pertaining to HPV and evaluating populations within the USA. We included English language publications from 2018 to 2022 evaluating at least one health inequity outlined by the National Institutes of Health. General publication characteristics and health inequity data were charted in a masked, duplicate fashion using a pilot-tested Google Form. We analysed frequencies of health inequities and summarised main findings from included studies. Results: Our final sample included 170 publications. The most common inequities examined were race/ethnicity (140 studies), sex or gender (97 studies), and income (69 studies). Many historically marginalised racial/ethnic groups had lower rates of HPV-related knowledge, vaccination and worse overall outcomes related to HPV. Compared with women, men had lower rates of HPV vaccination and provider recommendation, and higher rates of HPV-infection. Results: regarding income were largely conflicting. Conclusion: Findings from our review demonstrate clear gaps in HPV-related inequity research. Vaccine completion, provider recommendation and intersectionality should continue to be evaluated to implement targeted interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-136
Number of pages9
JournalSexually Transmitted Infections
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Diagnostic Screening Programs
  • Genital Diseases, Female
  • Genital Diseases, Male
  • Papillomaviridae


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