Study explores attitudes and beliefs about HPV

Mar 01, 2007

The most common sexually transmitted virus in the US is genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, with 20 million Americans currently infected and another 6.2 million becoming infected each year. Although HPV causes serious damage to women's health, including cervical cancer, awareness of the disease is surprisingly low.

In order to understand the public's knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding HPV and its vaccine, and to explore their preferences regarding receipt of HPV information, research was conducted with focus groups in 2003, just before the HPV vaccine was licensed for the public. The study's findings have been published online in the journal Health Education & Behavior, the official journal of the Society for Public Health Education, published by SAGE.

Researchers found that, not only was the HPV awareness and knowledge low, the STD-associated stigma served as a barrier to participants' acceptance to the future vaccine. "Although information about HPV's high prevalence and link to cervical cancer motivated participants to learn more about HPV, it also produced fear and anxiety," write the authors Allison L. Friedman, MS and Hilda Shepeard, MBA. "The research suggests that HPV education efforts must be approached with extreme caution. Instead of focusing on HPV as an STD, communications should take a public-health approach emphasizing the high prevalence and commonality of HPV infection among sexually active adults."

Source: SAGE Publications

Explore further: Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Making sense of patterns in the Twitterverse

Jun 07, 2013

If you think keeping up with what's happening via Twitter, Facebook and other social media is like drinking from a fire hose, multiply that by 7 billion – and you'll have a sense of what Court Corley wakes up to every morning.

Cervical cancer vaccine causing confusion

Mar 14, 2011

The public 'recruitment' campaign promoting the new cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil has done little to educate adolescent girls about the cause of the cancer, University of Sydney researchers Kellie Burns ...

Oral sex linked to cancer risk

Feb 20, 2011

US scientists said Sunday there is strong evidence linking oral sex to cancer, and urged more study of how human papillomaviruses may be to blame for a rise in oral cancer among white men.

Recommended for you

Ebola: timeline of a ruthless killer

5 hours ago

Here are key dates in the current Ebola epidemic, the worst ever outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever which first surfaced in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

Jan 31, 2015

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

Jan 30, 2015

The husband of a Canadian who was diagnosed earlier this week with bird flu after returning from a trip to China has also tested positive for the virus, health officials said Friday.

What exactly is coronavirus?

Jan 30, 2015

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq are straining public health systems and public health efforts meant to prevent and detect the spread of infectious diseases. This is generating a "perfect storm" of conditions for outbreaks. Among the infections raising concern is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, caused by a type of coronavirus, which emerged in 2012. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.