HEALTH EDUCATION INTERVENTION TO IMPROVE HPV KNOWLEDGE IN SEXUALLY ACTIVE YOUNG PEOPLE

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Giuseppa Visalli, Alessio Facciolà, Sabrina Nucera, Isa Picerno, Angela Di Pietro

Human papillomaviruses are the most common sexually transmitted pathogens worldwide and some of them are associated with several cancer types. We conducted an educational program at the Messina University Hospital, Italy, by enrolling a group of sexually active young people and administering a pre and post-educational intervention questionnaire about HPV infection. The sample was made up of 100 subjects (75% belonging to male sex) with a mean age of 28 years old. The vast majority (87%) admitted to risky sexual behaviours. The pre-intervention questionnaire revealed that only about 50% of the group were aware of HPV and related diseases and less than 50% knew that there is a vaccine. Awareness reported in the second questionnaire post intervention was significantly higher than previously. Our data show that, in some particularly at risk groups, there is still a lack of awareness about HPV and that it is therefore necessary to carry out large sex education programs especially involving adolescents and the “at-risk” population.

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