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Epidemiology and policy
P1-124 Knowledge and attitudes towards the human papillomavirus vaccine among college students
  1. O Simwale1,
  2. N Daneshvar2,
  3. L Scott2,
  4. T Sylk2,
  5. M Penn2
  1. 1Pennsylvania Department of Public Health, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA

Abstract

Introduction Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) and is a leading cause of cervical cancer in the USA; most cases occur in individuals between the ages of 15 and 24, yet few studies have examined factors associated with HPV vaccine acceptance among this age group.

Methods Responses to a 15-question web-based survey were used to determine predictors and deterrents of HPV vaccine acceptance among college students.

Results Multinomial logistic regression was used to analyse data at a CI of 95%. Students who believed they were at risk for contracting HPV were over four times more likely to be willing to receive the vaccine than students who did not believe they were at risk [OR: 4.2; CI 2.113 to 8.359; p=0.000]. Students who had previously been diagnosed with an STI were almost seven times more likely perceive they were at risk for contracting HPV [OR: 6.86; CI 1.85 to 25.52; p=0.009]. Male students were less willing to receive the preventative HPV immunisation than their female counterparts [OR: 0.355; CI 0.155 to 0.812; p=0.007]. Students who were aware of the relationship between HPV and cervical cancer were nearly two times more likely to report willingness to receive the vaccine [OR: 1.93; CI 0.987 to 3.754; p=0.044].

Conclusion HPV vaccination uptake may be increased if future programs emphasise students' susceptibility to HPV infection. Vaccination campaigns should also include more information regarding the relationship between HPV and cervical cancer, as well as vaccine safety and effectiveness.

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