During the American Society for Microbiology annual meeting, researchers from Oakland University presented the results of a survey conducted in 192 undergraduate female students from Auburn Hills, Michigan, which showed that while the majority are mindful of the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV), nearly 54% have not been vaccinated.
“A survey of their knowledge on the HPV vaccination and infection indicates a lack of understanding about the consequences, therapy, and prophylaxis for an HPV infection,” study author Aishwarya Navalpakam said in a recent news release.
Results from the survey also revealed that female students have a low perception of the risk of getting the disease even if they have access to appropriate information concerning the condition and the necessity to be vaccinated.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, genital infections caused by HPV affect 6 million people each year, with estimates showing 99.7% of all cervical cancers are triggered by an HPV infection.
In the study, researchers wanted to comprehend the perceptions and knowledge that undergraduate female students have on HPV and vaccination. The recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices states that girls aged 11-12 years should be vaccinated. Results from previous studies showed that the rates of vaccination are low due to a lack of coverage and access to the vaccines, provider recommendation, and perception of low risk of getting the condition.
“Ultimately, we hope to address this low vaccination rate by raising awareness, providing educational interventions, and helping decrease the incidence of cervical cancer,” said Navalpakam in the news release.