College Women’s Perception and Knowledge of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Cervical Cancer
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are one of the most common types of sexually transmitted infections in the United States. The highest rates of HPV infection are found in adult’s ages 18-28 years. This study utilizes the Health Belief Model to assess knowledge and perception of HPV infection and cervical cancer in college-age women and their intent to reduce their numbers of sex partners and request that their partner wear a condom during their next sexual encounter to prevent HPV infection. Even though most college women have heard of HPV, it appears that 79.5% of women in this study rated their subjective knowledge of HPV as poor, and only 58% knew that a vaccine now exists to prevent HPV infection. HPV health promotion campaigns should do more to incorporate HPV vaccine education in STD and HPV educational interventions.