Perceptions and Opinions Regarding Human Papilloma Virus Vaccination Among Young Women in Malaysia


Objective: The objective of this study is to explore the perceptions and opinions of young women about humanpapilloma virus (HPV) vaccination and associated barriers. Methodology: This qualitative in-depth interviewstudy was conducted in January 2010 with 30 university students from different faculties, i.e.: InternationalMedical School (IMS), Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (FHLS), Faculty of Business Management &Professional Studies (FBMP) and Faculty of Information Sciences and Engineering (FISE) of the Managementand Science University (MSU), Shah Alam, Malaysia. After consent was obtained from all participants, theinterviewer wrote down the conversations during the interview sessions. The data obtained were classified intovarious categories and analyzed manually.
Results: The majority of participants 25 (83%) had heard aboutcervical cancer, while 16 (53.3%) have never heard of HPV. Only five participants (17%) mentioned that HPV isthe cause of cervical cancer. Ten participants (33.3%) did not know any causes. The majority 16 (53.3%) did notknow the mode of HPV transmission. The majority of participants 22 (73.3%) mentioned that they had not beenvaccinated against HPV. Out of 22, 16 (53.3%) agreed to be vaccinated in the future to protect themselves fromcervical cancer and five (17%) participants mentioned they are not willing because of the uncertain safety of theavailable vaccines and their side effects.
Conclusion: This study showed relatively poor knowledge about HPVand its vaccines, pointing to urgency of educational campaigns aimed at students in the public and governmentuniversities to promote HPV vaccination among this highly eligible population.