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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 134-140

Awareness and uptake of human papillomavirus vaccines among female undergraduate students: Implications for cervical cancer prevention in South-South, Nigeria

Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Port Harcourt, Harcourt, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Omosivie Maduka
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Port Harcourt, Harcourt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/phmj.phmj_14_17

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Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection found most commonly among sexually active adolescents and young women. HPV vaccine is available in Nigeria. However, very few persons have been vaccinated. This study, therefore, aimed to assess the level of awareness of HPV infection and its vaccine uptake among female university students in Rivers State. Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study carried out between July and October 2015 in three Universities in Rivers State, Nigeria. Multistage sampling was used to identify the study participants. Results: A total of 780 eligible females were recruited into the study. About 262 (33.6%) had heard of HPV infection and 203 (26%) had heard of HPV vaccines. Among those who had heard of HPV vaccines, 148 (72.9%) were aware that the vaccine could protect against HPV infection while 97 (47.8%) were aware that the vaccine could protect against cervical cancer. Only 40 (5.1%) of study participants had been vaccinated with HPV vaccine. HPV vaccine uptake was significantly predicted by respondent's marital status (adjusted OR [AdjOR] = 0.061; 0.015–0.246), parity (AdjOR = 5.855; 1.433–23.923) and knowledge about HPV (AdjOR = 7.918; 3.062–20.475). Conclusion: Awareness of HPV infection and HPV vaccine among female undergraduates in Rivers State is poor. There is, therefore, need for health promotion interventions that address this gap as part of cervical cancer control activities.

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