Knowledge, awareness and attitude about human papilloma virus infection and its vaccine among medical students in West Bengal
Keywords:Human papilloma virus infection, HPV vaccine, Cervical cancer, Awareness and knowledge, Medical students
Background: HPV infection is commonly found in the anogenital tract of men and women with and without clinical lesions. The aetiological role of HPV infection among women with cervical cancer is well-established, and there is growing evidence of its central role in other anogenital sites. The key to preventing human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is education and immunization of youth. We investigated the awareness and knowledge of HPV infection/HPV vaccine and potential acceptability to HPV vaccine and explore the acceptability of vaccination among the medical students in West Bengal. Methodology: A cross sectional study was conducted in Jan-Feb 2019 to know the level of knowledge, awareness and attitude about various aspects of HPV infection and vaccine among medical students in two different medical colleges of West Bengal. There were 200 medical students between 18‑25 years who participated in the study, out of which 137 were males and 63 were females. A self-administered questionnaire designed for the study was given to the students. Students were educated on the purpose of the study and contents and completion of questionnaire. Results: Majority of the students were well aware of the viral etiology of cervical cancer. The survey sample consisted of 200 medical students aged between 18‑25 years with a mean age of 21.8 ± 1.57 years. There were 133 (66.5%) males and 67 (33.5%) females studying in second or third year of M.B.B.S and all of them were unmarried. Almost all the students heard about of HPV. Majority of the students (52%) thought lack of access and knowledge was the most important obstacle for receiving HPV vaccination followed by doubt about effectiveness. The most common source of information for our study population was teachers and textbooks (94%) followed by classroom teaching 43.5%. Other sources of information include internet (31%), news papers and television (10.5%) and friends (4.5%). Majority of the study group (99%) like to update their knowledge by experts. About 14.2% of our study participants had been questioned by friends and relatives regarding HPV vaccination. Conclusion: To conclude gaps in knowledge regarding HPV infection and vaccination existed amongst the medical students and a more integrated teaching regarding HPV carcinogenesis, vaccination and cervical cancer needs to be introduced.
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