203108 Disparities in HPV knowledge: What do Latino women know about HPV and Cervical Cancer?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 1:15 PM

Julie Kornfeld, MPH, Phd Cand , Cancer Information Service - Coastal Region, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Coral Gables, FL
Erin Kobetz, PhD, MPH , Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami, Leonard Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Robin C. Vanderpool, DrPH, CHES , Cancer Information Service - Mid South Region, University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Control Program, Lexington, KY
Introduction: In the US, Latino women experience an increased incidence of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection, the primary risk factor for cervical cancer. Knowledge of HPV and cervical cancer may influence decision-making for disease prevention, including HPV vaccine acceptance.

Methods: Study data were collected as part of a cross-sectional survey of HPV vaccine acceptability among a national sample of Spanish-speaking female callers (n=836) to the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Cancer Information Service (CIS). The survey assessed, among other variables of interest, ethnic identity and acculturation, knowledge of cervical cancer, HPV and other risk factors, and HPV vaccine acceptability.

Results: The study population represents a diverse group of Latinos (54% Mexican, 23% South American, 11% Central American, 9% from the Caribbean). Over 65% of participants had ever heard of HPV. Among the 65% of women who had heard of HPV (n=581), only 50% believed that HPV is common and < 45% understood that genital warts are caused by HPV. No participant correctly answered all 10 items of the HPV summary knowledge scale. Insufficient knowledge about this sexually transmitted infection may impact willingness to be vaccinated against HPV, screening utilization, and accordingly, womenıs risk of disease onset and progression.

Discussion: Among Latino women, having heard of HPV does not ensure accurate knowledge of the virus, and/or its association with cervical cancer. Examination of factors associated with HPV knowledge can inform future interventions to reduce the burden of HPV infection and cervical cancer among US Latinos.

Learning Objectives:
Identify factors associated with Latino women’s awareness of HPV Identify differences in HPV knowledge and HPV vaccine awareness by sociodemographic characteristics Examine cultural variability among Latino women of different ethnicities and its relationship to HPV knowledge

Keywords: Cervical Cancer, Latinas

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As Director of the National Cancer Institute's CIS, I have been involved in cancer control research activites for the last 15 years. Most recently, I have been involved in research with Hispanic/latino populations as a PhD student in epidemiology.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.