Human papillomavirus vaccination uptake: preliminary results of a cross-sectional study in Italy
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University of Catanzaro "Magna Græcia", Catanzaro, Italy Department of Health Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Catanzaro "Magna Græcia", Catanzaro, Italy Italy
University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Naples, Italy Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Naples, Italy Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A894
Background and Objective:
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is a well-known strategy in the prevention of HPV infection and related diseases. However, HPV vaccination rates are still below the level required for community immunity. The aim of this study is to assess the uptake of HPV vaccination among young adults and its potential predictors.

This cross-sectional study was conducted among a sample of young adults (aged 18-30 years) in Southern Italy. Data was collected through an anonymous self-administered questionnaire designed to retrieve sociodemographic information, knowledge about HPV infection and vaccine, attitudes towards HPV and sexual behaviours.

Among 264 respondents, 69.7% were women, 4.5% identified themselves as homosexual and 4.5% as bisexual. The majority knew that HPV vaccination is effective to prevent cervical cancer (91.7%) and believed that it is useful to prevent HPV infection (95.8%), but just 41.7% were worried to contract HPV infection. The main sources of information were school/university (76.5%) and healthcare workers (HCWs)(52.3%). Less than half (47.3%) received HPV vaccination and female gender and younger age were the strongest predictors of HPV vaccination uptake. A later sexual debut, having had multiple sexual partners, homosexual orientation, believing that HPV vaccine is useful to prevent HPV infection and having received information from HCWs and/or school/university were positively associated with HPV vaccine uptake.

HPV vaccination uptake was lower in the sample than the primary target of coverage in girls (>80%). Improving HPV vaccination coverage in adolescents is a relevant public health goal that must be pursued through multicomponent intervention. Public health systems should work on the integration of several approaches, such as individual reminders, information and education activities. The finding that prevalence of male HPV vaccine uptake was lower than female highlight the need to have more male-specific HPV campaign to reduce the overall prevalence of HPV infection.

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