Moderate Awareness and Limited Knowledge Relating to Cervical Cancer, HPV, and the HPV Vaccine Among Hispanics/Latinos in Utah

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Background. We investigate the demographic factors associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine–related awareness and knowledge in an emerging (rather than established) Hispanic/Latino population. Method. We surveyed 119 Spanish-speaking, mostly low-income and immigrant, Hispanic/Latino parents and guardians of adolescents 11 to 17 years old (i.e., eligible to receive the HPV vaccine) about their HPV vaccine–related awareness and knowledge. Data collection took place between August 2013 and October 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Results. Participants had moderately high awareness scores, with more than half the participants reporting having heard of cervical cancer (84.5%), HPV (76.4%), and the HPV vaccine (67.3%). HPV vaccine–related knowledge was low, with fewer than half the participants reporting they knew that most people are infected with HPV (32.7%), that HPV is asymptomatic among women (16.4%), that the HPV vaccine requires more than one dose (33.6%), and that the HPV vaccine is recommended for adolescent girls (47.3%) and boys (35.5%). Combined awareness and knowledge was significantly associated with educational attainment (p = .02) and country of origin (p = .03). Conclusion. Results demonstrate moderate to high HPV vaccine–related awareness and limited HPV vaccine–related knowledge among Hispanic/Latino parents living in Utah. These findings will inform educational interventions to improve the HPV vaccine–related awareness and knowledge in this vulnerable population.

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