273493 Perceived Risks of HPV and HPV Vaccination amongst College Students

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Joanne Udeochu , Department of Health Sciences, MPH and Public Health Programs, California State University Northridge, Northridge, CA
Background: The research identifies the human papillomavirus (HPV) as an emerging major health issue affecting males and females as young as 9 years old. In the U.S. 42.5% of females age 1459 have the high-risk and low-risk virus. HPV is transmitted during sexual contact and is associated with vulvar cancer, penile cancer, oral cancer, anal cancer, and genital warts in both sexes. An available vaccine prevents many types of HPV infections amongst males and females, given in three doses over a six-month time span. Research has proven the vaccination to be most effective with adherences of all three shots; and many young people are not completing the doses. Methods: Participants, (N = 1,629) undergraduate students enrolled in a general education health education course at a large public university in North Carolina during Fall 2010 completed a 40-item survey questionnaire including items on sexual behavior, risk behaviors, HPV, knowledge of the HPV vaccine, oral hygiene, and personal information. Results: N = 1073 college students self-reported that they have not received all three doses of the Gardisil HPV vaccination. 92% of the participants self-reported that they have never been diagnosed and are not at risk of HPV, despite the majority of them having engaged in French kissing, vaginal sexual intercourse, and oral sex. Discussion: Risk behaviors and perceived risks of HPV will be shared in addition to strategies to increase vaccine completion and decrease HPV incidences amongst this high-risk population.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the perceptions that college students have concerning their risks of the human papillomavirus and explain the awareness of the available vaccine.

Keywords: College Students, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the investigator on the research focusing on HPV amongst college students, their perceived risks of infection and their knowledge and adherence to the available vaccine. Among my interests has been the development of strategies to increase HPV vaccination and decrease HPV rates amongst this target population.
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.