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HPV Knowledge in Mexican College Students: Implications for Intervention Programmes Health & Social Care in the Community

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Vogtman, E., Sioban D. Harlow, A. Cruz Valdez, J.C. Cruz Valdez, and E. Lazcano Ponce. 2011. "HPV Knowledge in Mexican College Students: Implications for Intervention Programmes Health & Social Care in the Community." Health and Social Care in the Community, 19(2): 148-157.

In order to promote new human papillomavirus (HPV) prevention and detection methods effectively in Mexico, it is important to understand how much the population knows about the virus. This study aimed to determine the demographic and behavioural factors associated with HPV awareness and knowledge in a population of Mexican college students. With a response rate of 77%, data were collected from 1109 college students aged 17–25 years old at the Autonomous University of the State of Morelos in 2006. Students completed a questionnaire that assessed demographic and behavioural characteristics along with questions about HPV. A small percentage (16.9%) of the college students had never heard about HPV. Characteristics associated with not having heard about HPV included being male, not having running water, not having health insurance and not having sexual experience. Students had a median score of 5 out of 10 on an HPV knowledge index based on 10 yes/no questions about HPV developed for this study. Students had higher HPV knowledge scores if they studied health science, or science and engineering, were a fourth year student, had running water at home, had health insurance, or were a female who had had a previous Pap smear. Although most of these Mexican college students had heard of HPV, they had limited knowledge about the virus and prevention strategies. Further research in Mexican college students is needed to explain the variations in HPV knowledge to create appropriate health education programmes.

DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2524.2010.00954.x (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3039519. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: Mexico.

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