Knowledge of Human Papillomavirus and Uptake of its Vaccine among Female Undergraduate Students of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria
Background: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a prerequisite for the development of cervical cancer which is the fourth most common cancer affecting women worldwide. The use of HPV vaccine has been found to be responsible for significant decline in the prevalence of HPV infection and consequently, of cervical cancer. This study assessed the knowledge of HPV and the uptake of HPV vaccine among female undergraduate students of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria.
Methods: This institution-based cross-sectional study was carried out among 229 students selected using multi-staged sampling technique. A structured, pretested, self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. IBM SPSS version 21.0 was used for data analysis. Statistical significance was set at p-value less than 0.05.
Results: Only 12 (5.2%) students were knowledgeable about HPV and 39 (17.0%) were aware of the existence of HPV vaccines. The participants’ age (p = 0.031) and level of study (p = 0.026) were significantly associated with knowledge of HPV. Only 1 (0.44%) student had received the vaccine. Eight (10.8%) students had their sexual debut at 10 to 14 years, 9 (12.1%) had more than five sexual partners and 21 (23.4%) never used condom during sexual intercourse.
Conclusion: The knowledge about HPV infection and uptake of HPV vaccine were very low in this study. Concerted effort should be made by health authorities to create awareness about HPV infection and its vaccine among university students. This will improve HPV vaccine uptake, prevent HPV infections and reduce the prevalence of cervical cancer.