Evaluating knowledge about human papillomavirus infection among Brazilian health professionals

Livia Melo Villar, Aline Dutra Rabello, Vanessa Salete de Paula
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention: APJCP 2011, 12 (12): 3251-6
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases worldwide. Although two safe and clinically effective vaccines against HPV have been developed, they are not available to the public health network in Brazil. This study was performed to assess knowledge about HPV among seventy-nine professionals who completed a questionnaire about diagnosis, transmission, symptoms, prevention and general information. General knowledge about HPV was high, as most of them recognized that HPV is transmitted sexually (98.7%), the disease can be asymptomatic (82.3%) or warts can be present on the genitals (84.8 ) and the Pap smear is the screening method to identify cellular changes on the cervix (88.6%). However, many professionals did not know that there are now vaccines available for many HPV variants (38.0%) and that not all of them are oncogenic (44.3%). These data show that further educational programs, especially about HPV prevention, are needed in Brazil.

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