Knowledge and Awareness of Human Papillomavirus among College Students at a Historically Black College/University in South Carolina

Authors: Keiara Reames*, Claflin University Masters of Biotechnology, Gloria McCutcheon, Claflin University Department of Biology, Samina Noorali, Claflin University Department of Biology, Erika Rhett, Claflin University Department of Math and Computer Science
Topics: Ethnic Geography, Medical and Health Geography
Keywords: Human Papillomavirus, Sexually Transmitted Infection, Health Disparity
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can lead to genital warts and various forms of cancer. In women the virus is associated with 91% of cervical cancer, with a 41% higher mortality rate in African American women than white women in the U.S., and 70% of cancer worldwide. Vaccines protect patients against the most common HPV subtypes 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58. African American women are vulnerable because they typically contract the high risk subtypes 33, 35, 58, and 68. We aim to determine the need for HPV education among freshmen students at Claflin University, a historically black college/university in South Carolina, with 86.2% SC residents and 90.8% African American. A third of SC is rural area and the geographic isolation has an increased effect on health disparities. Survey Monkey is used to administer a presurvey, educational videos, and a post-survey. While 57% of incoming freshmen in 2016 heard of HPV and 62% heard of the vaccine, they lack knowledge on transmission, symptoms, and effects of the infection. Students’ knowledge significantly increased after the educational videos relating to 1) three being the number of required doses (t = 5.5773; p< 0.0001) and 2) HPV can potentially occur without symptoms (t = 4.7702; p<0.0001). In conclusion, there is a great need for increased health promotion among entering freshmen at Claflin University as we address diseases and conditions associated with HPV to help close the gap in health disparities.

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