Awareness and Knowledge about Human Papillomavirus Infection and Vaccination among Women in UAE


Background: Cervical cancer is the second commonest female cancer worldwide. The 50-55 cases of cervicalcancer are reported annually in the UAE. There is a scarcity of data from Middle Eastern region regardingknowledge and attitude of women towards HPV infection, cervical cancer prevention and HPV vaccine. Theaim of our study was to assess the knowledge of women regarding HPV infection and vaccine in UAE. Materialsand
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 640 women aged 18-50 years was conducted in Al-Ain district in UAEusing convenience sampling. Women with previous diagnosis of cervical cancer, non- residents of UAE, youngerthan 18 or older than 50 years of age and those unable to speak Arabic or English were excluded from the study.Logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the association of HPV knowledge with independent factorslike age, education etc.
Results: Only 29% of our sampled women have ever heard of HPV infection. Only 15.3%women recognized it as STI. Only about 22% women have also heard of the HPV vaccine. Three quarter of thewomen in our study thought that cervical cancer can be prevented. About 28% recognized vaccine as a preventivemeasure against cervical cancer. Age (AOR 1.049, 95%CI 1.02-1.08) and husband’s level of education were foundto be significant (p value 0.015) after adjusting for women’s age.
Conclusions: The knowledge of HPV infectionand vaccine is low in the UAE. Few women recognized HPV as sexually transmitted infection. Increasing ageand husband’s education are associated with better knowledge of HPV infection.