Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Concerning Human Papilloma Virus Infection and its Health Effects among Rural Women, Karnataka, South India


Background: Cervical cancer is one of the commonest cancers among women all over the world. Theassociation of cervical cancer with human papilloma virus (HPV) is well established. Knowledge about the causalrelationship between HPV and cervical cancer is important to make appropriate, evidence-based health carechoices. In this context we conducted a community based study among women about the knowledge, attitude andpractice about HPV infections and their health effects. Materials and
Methods: A cross sectional interview basedhouse to house survey was conducted with a validated data collection tool covering sociodemographic factors,knowledge, attitude and practice about HPV and its health effects, among 1020 women from a rural village,Perdoor, in Udupi district, Karnataka, India in 2013-14.
Results: The mean age of participants was 38.9 years(SD=12.6). Study participants showed a high literacy rate (85.7%). Only 2.4% of sexually exposed women hadundergone Pap smear testing. Partners of 4.4%women had undergone circumcision and they belonged to theMuslim community. Male condom usage was reported by 26 women (2.6%). However, none of the participantshad heard of HPV and its health effects.
Conclusions: This community based study found complete ignoranceabout HPV among rural South Indian women in spite of a high literacy level.