Knowledge and Attitudes of Women towards Human Papilloma Virus and HPV Vaccine in Thulamela Municipality of Vhembe District in Limpopo Province, South Africa
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted viral infection. HPV can cause cervical cancer and other cancers of the genitals, neck and throat. Two HPV vaccines are available, Cervarix and Gardasil, which are the first vaccines directed at the prevention of cervical cancer. The purpose of the study was to assess the knowledge of human papilloma virus and HPV vaccine among rural women in Vhembe district in Limpopo Province. A quantitative descriptive approach was adopted. The quantitative design enabled the discovery of more information by means of direct questioning of a sample of women 30years and older. A convenience sampling was used to select 1546 respondents. Data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. The findings revealed that (97.8%) of women lacked knowledge about Human Papilloma Virus and HPV vaccine and were also not aware of the transmission methods of HPV virus. Furthermore (94.3%) were not aware who was eligible for HPV vaccine and the age range for vaccination and (92.1%) displayed negative attitudes to the use of vaccines if given a pamphlet to let their daughters be immunized. The awareness on human papilloma virus and HPV vaccine among women in Vhembe district is limited. There is a need to educate and promote awareness on cervical cancer screening methods among women to reduce the burden of morbidity and mortality.
Keywords: Attitudes, Cervical cancer, Knowledge, Human Papilloma Virus, Human Papilloma Vaccine