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Background: High risk human papilloma virus (HPV) types 16 and 18 have been proven to be the prime causative agents of cervical cancer. Knowledge and practices of HPV vaccination among medical and paramedical students strongly determine their intention to recommend vaccination to others in the future. The present study was undertaken to assess the knowledge, attitude and practices regarding cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination among medical and nursing students.
Materials and methods: This is a cross sectional study conducted in AIIMS, Rishikesh. This study included medical and nursing undergraduate students of the age group of 17-22 years. A total of 213 MBBS and 83 nursing undergraduates were included in the study after obtaining written consent. The students anonymously answered a 30 point questionnaire which included questions testing the knowledge, attitude and practice of the students regarding HPV infection and vaccination.
Results: Out of 296 participants, 136(64%) MBBS and 51(61%) nursing students displayed good knowledge about HPV vaccine. Six (2.8%) MBBS students and four nursing (4.8%) had received HPV vaccination. Ninety two percent MBBS students and 84% nursing students were ready to get the vaccine if it were for free. Moreover, 94.3% MBBS students and 95.2% nursing students were willing to get more information about HPV vaccination.
Conclusion: The knowledge and uptake of HPV vaccination among medical and nursing students in AIIMS, Rishikesh was found to be inadequate. Targeted health education and interventions should be planned in order to improve the knowledge and acceptance towards the HPV vaccine.
Keywords: HPV virus; Cervical cancer prevention; HPV vaccination