Human Papillomavirus and students in Brazil: an assessment of knowledge of a common infection - preliminary report Please cite this article as: Burlamaqui JC, Cassanti AC, Borim GB, Damrose E, Villa LL, Silva L. Human Papillomavirus and students in Brazil: an assessment of knowledge of a common infection - preliminary report. Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2017;83:120-5.

João Cesar Frizzo Burlamaqui Ana Carolina Cassanti Gabriela Bastos Borim Edward Damrose Luisa Lina Villa Leonardo Silva About the authors

Abstract

Introduction:

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease worldwide. One of the barriers to the implementation of prevention programs against the disease is the limited knowledge possessed by most populations regarding the virus and its possible consequences.

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the knowledge of Brazilian college students on transmission, clinical manifestations, and diseases correlated with HPV, highlighting the poor knowledge of a very common infection.

Methods:

A total of 194 students answered a questionnaire about transmission, clinical features and the possible consequences of persistent HPV infection. The questionnaire was self-applied under the supervision of the authors.

Results:

The clinical manifestations of HPV infection were not clear to most students. Incorrect assumptions of the clinical manifestations of HPV infection included: bleeding (25%), pain (37%) and rashes (22%). Twelve per cent of respondents did not recognize warts as an HPV-related disease. Regarding potential consequences of persistent infection, students did not recognize a relationship between HPV and laryngeal carcinoma (80.9%), pharyngeal carcinoma (78.9%), anal carcinoma (73.2%), vulvar carcinoma (65.4%) and vaginal carcinoma (54.6%). Large portions of the population evaluated were unaware of modes of HPV transmission beyond genital contact.

Conclusion:

Knowledge of HPV by the population evaluated in this study is partial and fragmented. Lack of knowledge may contribute to the further spread of the disease. Public health policies for education and guidance of the population should be implemented in Brazil.

KEYWORDS
Brazil; Viruses; Sexual behavior; Policy

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