HPV Vaccination among College Students in the South: The Role of HPV Knowledge on Vaccine Initiation and Completion

Document Type : Research Articles


1 School of Social Work, Associate Dean for Research, Endowed Academic Chair on Social Work and Health, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, United States.

2 USA Mitchell Cancer Institute, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36604, United States.

3 Department of Social Work, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY, 13905, United States.


Background: The purpose of this study was to examine factors related to HPV vaccination initiation and completion, especially the role of health knowledge, among college students in a southern state. Methods: College students ages 17-45 (n=1,708) were analyzed in this study. Primary outcomes were HPV vaccine series initiation and completion; binary logistic regressions were performed to identify associated factors. Results: Among total participants, students who were aware that HPV could be transmitted even without symptoms were less likely to initiate HPV vaccination. However, among students who have initiated the vaccine series, those who were aware that HPV could be transmitted without symptoms and that men should receive the HPV vaccine were more likely to complete the vaccine series. Other significant variables included age, gender, race, and international student status. Conclusion: Future studies are needed to investigate students’ concerns regarding initiating HPV vaccination and how to effectively motivate students to initiate and complete the HPV vaccine series.


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