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Knowledge and Attitude of Iranian University Students toward Human Papilloma Virus

  • Ghojazadeh, Morteza (Liver and Gastrointestinal Disease Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Azar, Zahra Fardi (Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Medical Faculty, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Saleh, Parviz (Infectious and Tropical Disease Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Naghavi-Behzad, Mohammad (Medical Philosophy and History Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Azar, Nastaran Ghodratnezhad (Imam Hassan Mojtaba Talented High School)
  • Published : 2012.12.31

Abstract

Introduction: Increasing prevalence of human papilloma virus (HPV) infection and its association with cervical cancer as a leading cause of death make it necessary to evaluate and improve the public knowledge, especially of university students, about this cause of disease. Methods: A cross-sectional study of knowledge and attitude of a total 669 students from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences was therefore performed with a modified validated questionnaire, arranged into 5 parts and containing 55 questions, in July 2011. Questions were directed to study socio-demographic characteristics of the participant, knowledge about HPV disease, transmission route, relationship with cervical cancer, predisposing factors, and participants attitude toward people with HPV infection. Results: All of the participants were Moslem with a mean age $25.6{\pm}5.33$ years of age. All of the participants had heard of HPV, and acquired their knowledge through university courses (90.6%); the majority of them knew that HPV is a sexually transmitted disease and a potential cause for genital warts but general knowledge about details was not high. Mean knowledge score of residents and post graduate midwifery and nursing students was high as compared to other groups (P<0.001). Statements that indicated the presence of fear to communicate with people suffering HPV and people's avoidance to rely on babysitting of these patients were observed. Educational level (${\beta}$=0.21, P<0.001), age (${\beta}$=0.18, P=0.002,) and smoking (${\beta}$=-0.11, P=0.006) were predicted to effect knowledge. Conclusions: Moderate level of knowledge about HPV among medical university students makes it necessary to set effective national public health efforts on HPV education and prevention considering he excess of young population in Iran vulnerable to cervical cancer.

Keywords

Human papilloma virus;medicine;knowledge;prevention

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