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J Am Coll Health. 2009 Sep-Oct;58(2):141-9. doi: 10.1080/07448480903221368.

Knowledge, attitudes, and informational behaviors of college students in regard to the human papillomavirus.

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1
Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess students' human papillomavirus (HPV) knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. PARTICIPANTS/ METHODS: Students (N = 1,282) at a large, public university in the Northeast United States completed a questionnaire during February 2008 assessing HPV knowledge, prevalence, transmission, cervical cancer risk and stigma; sexual behavior, vaccination status, as well as past and preferred sources of information about HPV and sexual health.

RESULTS:

A majority of respondents know of HPV. However, understanding was insufficient in several important areas. Overwhelmingly, respondents heard about HPV via television commercials yet preferred to obtain sexual health information from physicians. Hearing about HPV on a TV commercial was associated with increased knowledge. More knowledge of HPV was associated with less stigma. Men exhibit a higher level of stigma and less knowledge than women.

CONCLUSIONS:

Publicly funded health campaigns aimed at increasing knowledge about HPV are overdue and necessary. This is especially true for efforts targeting young adults about this extremely common sexually transmitted infection (STI).

PMID:
19892651
DOI:
10.1080/07448480903221368
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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