Background: Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infectious agent. It is estimatedthat 10% of all women worldwide are infected with HPV, that is some 660 million each year. HPV vaccination hasa reported efficacy of more than 98% for protection against infection in females. In 2008 the Abu Dhabi HealthAuthority in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced free HPV vaccination for all eligible schoolgirls in bothpublic and private schools.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of 640 women aged 18-50 years in the Emirate ofAbu Dhabi in UAE from April 2012 to October 2012 was conducted.
Results: Thirty-seven percent of the womenin our sample had heard about HPV vaccination, and 80% of these would consider getting vaccinated themselves,and 87% would recommend vaccination to relatives or friends. Most women in the study (69%) had a favorableopinion about the vaccine. Only 17% of the women felt it might not be culturally acceptable, and 1% felt thatthere might be religious objections to HPV vaccination. Vaccine safety and recommendation by a doctor (36%each) were the factors identified most frequently by our sample of women which would enhance the uptake ofthe HPV vaccination.
Conclusions: Knowledge about HPV vaccination among women in our sample was belowaverage (37%); however, 80% of those who had heard about HPV vaccination were willing to be vaccinatedthemselves, and 87% would recommend vaccination to relatives and friends.