Human Papillomavirus Infection: Molecular Epidemiology and Acceptability of Screening and Vaccination among Women in Eastern Kenya Counties
Background: Human Papillomavirus associated cervical cancer in Kenya caused 3,286 deaths where cervical screening rate was 3.2% in 2018. This study examined knowledge, attitudes, practices, and perceptions (KAPP) on HPV screening and vaccination and how these influenced HPV infections among HIV-infected and uninfected women seeking reproductive health services.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study where socio-demographic and KAPP data on HPV screening and vaccination data was collected by the use of a questionnaire. Cervical swabs were obtained for HPV DNA-PCR and cytology. Logistic regression and Pearson chi-square tests were used to analyze statistical relationships.
Results: Among the 317 women recruited, HPV infections were significantly associated with marital status, number of sexual partners, hormonal-contraceptives use, HIV infection, presence of genital warts, recurrent UTIs, and TB infection. The number of participants with knowledge on HPV screening was significant in Embu County, among those younger than 30 years, with secondary and college level education, marital status, religion, and contraceptives use. Having a relative with a history of any cancer was significantly associated with knowledge and perceiving HPV screening as important. Participants who perceived HPV vaccination as important were significant across age, family planning, and parity. Fear of embarrassment, procedures, and results, lack of time, and cost of the test were reported as reasons for failing to screen for HPV.
Conclusion: Knowledge, willingness, and perceiving HPV screening as important as well as willingness to vaccinate against HPV may reduce HPV infections among women seeking reproductive health services in Eastern Kenya