Knowledge of cervical cancer prevention and human papillomavirus among women with HIV

L. Stewart Massad, Charlesnika T. Evans, Tracey E. Wilson, Johanna L. Goderre, Nancy A. Hessol, Donna Henry, Christine Colie, Howard D. Strickler, Alexandra M. Levine, D. Heather Watts, Kathleen M. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess knowledge of and attitudes towards human papillomavirus (HPV), Pap testing, and the HPV vaccine. Methods: In a multicenter U.S. cohort study, women with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and at-risk comparison women completed 44-item standardized self-report questionnaires exploring their knowledge of cervical cancer prevention, HPV, and HPV vaccination. Results were correlated with demographic variables, measures of education and attention, and medical factors. Data were clustered using principal component analysis. Significant associations were assessed in multivariable models. Results: Among 1588 women, HIV seropositive women better understood facts about cervical cancer prevention and HPV than seronegative women, but both had substantial knowledge deficits. Almost all women considered Pap testing important, although 53% of HIV seropositive and 48% of seronegative women considered cervical cancer not preventable (P = 0.21). Only 44% of HIV seropositive women knew Paps assess the cervix, versus 42% of HIV seronegative women (P = 0.57). Both groups understood that HPV causes genital warts and cervical cancer (67% of HIV seropositive vs. 55% of seronegative women, P = 0.002). About half of both groups considered HPV vaccination extremely important for cervical cancer prevention. HIV seronegative women were more likely to report learning of HPV vaccination through advertising than from clinicians (81% vs. 64%, P < 0.0001). Conclusion: High risk women need effective education about cervical cancer prevention, HPV, and HPV vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-76
Number of pages7
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Cervical cancer prevention
  • HIV in women
  • HPV
  • Health education
  • Pap test


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