The Human Papillomavirus Barriers and Initiatives

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Eccles, Rachel
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the world. This study aims to examine why the HPV vaccine administration rates remain so low even when the vaccine has been proven safe and effective while heavily recommended by healthcare professionals and the media. The hypothesis of this study is if MTSU students are surveyed about their HPV vaccination rates, then under vaccination will be found to occur due to three primary reasons: low awareness, insufficient patient-doctor communication, and lack of acceptance. The survey instrument was administered to five different courses at MTSU for a total of 107 responses to the survey with ages ranging from 18-45. According to the results, 14% of respondents have never heard of HPV before the survey. When asked how many doses they had received, 37% had successfully completed the HPV vaccine three-part series while 37% had not received a single dose. There were 47% of the students who did not know that HPV can cause cancer, and 32% of the survey population who were still unsure of how the virus is spread. The results showed that fewer people than expected were aware of HPV. Hopefully, this project will be able to eliminate the variable that insurance is a major factor that affects vaccination rates for the HPV vaccine in that students are able to receive it for free through government funding (Gardasil 9, 2018). The information gained from this project has been shared with the Middle Tennessee State University students who participated in the study and the university faculty in an effort to increase awareness.
HPV, cervical cancer, genital warts, preventative medicine