Background. The study sought to characterize the seroprevalence, seropersistence, and seroincidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)-16 antibody, as well as the behavioral risk factors for HPV-16 seropositivity. Methods. Serologic data at baseline and at 6- and 12-month follow-up visits were used to examine the seroprevalence, seropersistence, and seroincidence of HPV-16 antibody in 1595 patients attending United States clinics treating sexually transmitted disease. Testing for antibody to HPV-16 was performed by capture enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using viruslike particles. Results. The seroprevalence of HPV-16 antibody was 24.5% overall and was higher in women than in men (30.2% vs. 18.7%, respectively). In those who were HPV-16 seropositive at baseline, antibody response persisted to 12 months in 72.5% of women and in 45.6% of men. The seroincidence of HPV-16 antibody was 20.2/100 person-years (py) overall, 25.4/100 py in women, and 15.7/100 py in men. In multivariate analysis, the seroprevalence of HPV-16 antibody was significantly associated with female sex, age >20 years, and the number of episodes of sex with occasional partners during the preceding 3 months, whereas the seroincidence of HPV-16 antibody was significantly associated with female sex, age >20 years, baseline negative ELISA result greater than the median value, and the number of episodes of unprotected sex with occasional partners during the preceding 3 months. Conclusion. Sex- and age-related differences in both the seropositivity and seroincidence of HPV-16 antibody persisted after adjustment for behavioral and sociodemographic risk factors, and behavioral risk factors during the preceding 3 months were stronger predictors of the seroprevalence and seroincidence of HPV-16 antibody than was lifetime sexual behavior.
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