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J Womens Health Issues Care. 2015;4(5). pii: 1000203. Epub 2015 Sep 23.

Knowledge of HPV among HIV-Infected and HIV-Uninfected Adolescent Women in South Africa.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Rochester, Rochester NY, USA.
601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 655, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, 14534, USA.
Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, Institute of Infectious Diseases & Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Anzio Road, Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa.



The aim of this study is to examine the knowledge of human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected female adolescents in South Africa.


Subjects were recruited from a parent study of HPV infection comprised of females ages 16-21 in Masiphumelele, Cape Town, South Africa. A total of 30 subjects, 15 HIV-infected and 15 HIV-uninfected, were selected via randomization and completed a measure of HPV knowledge, based on a previously validated instrument. The study took place in May 2013.


The overall mean score on the measure for all subjects was 43.3% (S.D. 10.9). There was no significant difference in HPV knowledge between the HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected groups. Based on results from a previous large-scale study using the same validated measure, this sample scored significantly worse on general HPV knowledge than samples from the US, UK, and Australia.


Given the limited knowledge of HPV in this sample, there is greater need for education about the prevention of cervical cancer, specifically among high-risk adolescent women.


Adolescent; Cervical Cancer; HIV; HPV; Knowledge; South Africa; Vaccine

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