An Analysis of the Knowledge and Social Determinants of Preventative Care Against HPV Among College Students




DeAlessandro, Grace

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Despite the efficacious standard practices for prevention, human papillomavirus (HPV), one of the most common viral infections of the reproductive tract, is still a critical cause of concern regarding its exacerbated progression into cervical, anogenital, and oropharyngeal cancers, among others (Szymonowicz and Chen, 2020). Though the HPV vaccine is targeted towards adolescent age groups, college students are considered one of the most “high risk” demographics for HPV (Dempsey et al., 2011). Correspondingly, there is a substantial deficiency in research analyzing the levels of HPV awareness among the 18-24 age group, which stresses the need for more widespread and inclusive investigations of college students’ knowledge of HPV throughout the nation (Yacobi et al., 1999; Dempsey et al., 2011). To address this insufficiency, we surveyed undergraduate students at Baylor University to assess this population’s knowledge of HPV and identify the barriers preventing them from accessing the vaccine. The results of this study underscore the unfulfilled need for targeted approaches that improve sexual health education among young adults.



Human papillomavirus., College students., HPV vaccine., Social determinants of health., Preventative care., Healthcare access., HPV knowledge., HPV vaccine attitudes.