The National HPV Immunization Programme, which offers free human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to teenaged female students, was launched in Malaysia in 2010. HPV vaccination paired with adequate knowledge about HPV infection provides the best protection against cervical cancer. To identify the level of knowledge and the health beliefs towards HPV and the HPV vaccine among HPV-vaccinated female students in Malaysia. A nationwide cross-sectional survey among 14 years old female students who had received three doses of the HPV vaccine was conducted in 32 randomly selected schools from 13 states and 3 federal territories in Malaysia between February 2013 and April 2013. Among 2482 respondents, knowledge about HPV infection and the HPV vaccine was extremely poor. The mean total knowledge score was only 3.56 (SD ± 1.76), out of a possible score of 10. The majority of respondents were unaware that vaccinating boys with HPV can help protect girls against HPV infection (91.6%), HPV cannot be cured(81.6%) and that HPV is a sexually transmitted infection (70.3%). Most of the respondents had the misconception that only females get HPV (95.1%), and that the HPV vaccine eliminates the need for Pap smear tests (68.3%). Most respondents (91.6%) believed that they would not get an HPV infection. Almost half of the respondents (42.9%) held the misconception that HPV infection could not lead to serious illness. Findings revealed poor knowledge about both HPV and the HPV vaccine, low perceived susceptibility to HPV infection and misinformation about HPV infection among HPV-vaccinated girls. Therefore, it is essential to increase the knowledge and awareness of health risks regarding HPV infection among teenaged girls who have received the HPV vaccine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)