American Journal of Public Health Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-669X ISSN (Online): 2327-6703 Website: Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Public Health Research. 2013, 1(8), 221-225
DOI: 10.12691/ajphr-1-8-5
Open AccessArticle

Knowledge and Awareness of Papillomavirus and Cervical Cancer among College Students and Health Care Workers Women in Diyala, Iraq

Asmaa Haseeb Hwaid1,

1College of Education of Pure Science, Diyala University

Pub. Date: December 04, 2013

Cite this paper:
Asmaa Haseeb Hwaid. Knowledge and Awareness of Papillomavirus and Cervical Cancer among College Students and Health Care Workers Women in Diyala, Iraq. American Journal of Public Health Research. 2013; 1(8):221-225. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-1-8-5


Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common causes of sexually transmitted infection and it's now known to be a risk factors for the development of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women and it's one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality amongst the gynecological cancers worldwide, especially in developing countries. Objectives: This study sough to evaluate knowledge and awareness about Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer among women. Subjects and methods: The present study are cross sectional study was conducted in Diyala, Iraq during the period from 1/ November / 2012 to 30 / September / 2013, this study included 198 women, the mean age was (27.29±9.63) years, the age range was (17-60) years, the participants were divided into two groups, group I, (students group) includes (99) female college students who studies in Diyala university, group II, (health care workers group), includes (99) female physicians and nurses who worked in AL-Batol Maternity and Children Teaching Hospital. Data was collected using questionnaire that was adopted from previous studies. All data were statistically analysis. Results: The present results show that the women demonstrated poor levels of knowledge about HPV and cervical cancer, 106(53.54%) of them had heard about HPV, while, only 73(36.87%), 60(30.30%) knew that the cervical cancer and genital warts caused by HPV respectively. This study showed that the participants had very limited knowledge about pap smear, only 57(28.79%) knew that pap smear is the test to detect abnormal cervical cells, the results show highest level of knowledge and awareness about HPV, cervical cancer was among health care workers group, participants who live in urban and married with statistically significant difference (P<0.05), (P<0.01). Conclusion: This study highlights the need for educational programs regarding HPV infection and it's complications such as cervical cancer. In conclusion, the present study shows inadequate levels of knowledge and awareness about HPV and it's relation to cervical cancer, genital warts as well as transmission of infection and Pap smear test among study groups especially the university students.

human papillomavirus (HPV) cervical cancer knowledge women

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Brooks, G. F.; Carrol, K. C.; Butel, J. S. and Mores, S. A. Papillomavirus. In: Medical Microbiology. Brooks, G. F.; Carrol, K. C.; Butel, J. S. and Mores, S. A. (eds). 24th Ed. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 2007; P: 597-600.
[2]  Gnanamony, M. P. A. and Abraham, P. An overview of human Papillomavirus and current vaccine strategies. Indian. Journal. Medical. Microbiology. 2007; 25(1):10-17.
[3]  Anorlu, R. I. Cervical cancer: the Sub-Saharan African perspective. Reported. Health. Matters. 2008; 16(32):41-9.
[4]  Levinson, W. Human Papillomavirus. In: Review of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. Levinson, W (eds). 10th Ed. The McGraw - Hill Companies, Inc. 2008; p: 264-265.
[5]  Parkin, D. M. ; Ferlay, B. J. and Pisani, P. Global cancer statistics . Journal of clinical virology. 2005; 55(2):74-108.
[6]  WHO. Cervical cancer screening in developing countries. Report of the World Health Organization Consultation. Consulted. 2002; 14.09.2010.
[7]  Saonere, A. J. Awareness screening programs reduces the risk of cervical cancer in women. African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 2010; 4(6): 314-23.
[8]  Rod, B. and Cole, P. The fifty-year decline of cancer in America. J. Clin. Oncol. 2001; 19: 239-41.
[9]  Musmar, S. G. Pattern and factors affecting pap smear test in Nabuls, a retrospective study. Middle East Journal of Family Medicine. 2004; 4(4).
[10]  Kidanto HL, Kilewo CD, Moshiro C. Cancer of the cervix: knowledge and attitudes of female patients admitted at Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam. East African Medical Journal, 2002; 79(9):745-46.
[11]  Ayayi IO, Adewole IF. Knowledge and attitude of general out-patient attendants in Nigeria to cervical cancer. Central African Journal of Medicine, 1998, 44(2):41-43.
[12]  Amarin, Z.O; Badria, L.F. and Obeidat, B.R. Attitudes and beliefs about cervical smear testing in ever-married Jordanian women. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 2008; 14(2): 389-97.
[13]  Sait, KH. Attitudes, Knowledge and Practices in relation to cervical cancer and its screening among women in Saudi Arabia. Saudi. Med. J. 2009; 30(9):1208-12.
[14]  Gronje, H. S. Screening for cervical cancer in developing world. Best. Pract. Res. Clin. Obestet. Gynaecol. 2005; 19(4): 517-29.
[15]  McPartland, T.; Weaver, S. and Koutsky, K. Men's perception and knowledge of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection and cervical cancer. Journal of American College Health. 2005; 53: 225-30.
[16]  Johon, J. The knowledge and attitudes, practice and perceived barriers towards screening for premalignant cervical lesions among women aged 18 years and above, In Songea Urban, Ruvuma. Thesis. Muhimbili University of Health and Ahied Science. 2011.
[17]  Lopez, R. and McMahan, S. College Women’s Perception and Knowledge of human Papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer. Californian Journal of Health Promotion. 2007; 5(3): 12-25.
[18]  deLima, É. G. ; Soares de Lima, D. B. ; Miranda, C. A. N. ; Pereira, V. S. ; Azevedo, J. C. V. et al. Knowledge about HPV and Screening of Cervical Cancer among Women from the Metropolitan Region of Natal, Brazil. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2013.
[19]  Mpemba, F.; Kampo, S. and Zhang, X. Knowledge and attitude of HPV among Chinese and African undergraduate medical students studying in China. Journal of Education Research and Behavioral Sciences. 2013; Vol. 2(5): 58-67.
[20]  Al-Meer, F.M.; Aseel, M.T.; Al-Khalaf, J.; et al. Knowledge, attitude and practices regarding cervical cancer and screening among women visiting primary health care in Qatar. East. Meditt. Health. J. 2011; 17(11).
[21]  Holcomb, B. ; Bailey, J.M.; Grawford, K. and Ruffin IV, M.T. Adult's knowledge and Behaviors Related to human Papillomavirus infection. JABFP. 2004; 17(1):26-31.
[22]  Hanisch, R. ; Gustat, J. ; Hagensee, M. E. ; Baene, A. ; Salazar, J. E. ; et el. Knowledge of pap smear screening and human papillomavirus among women attending clinics in Medellina, Colombia. Int. J. Gynecol. Cancer. 2008 Sep-Oct; 18(5):1020-6.
[23]  Phianmongkhol,Y. ; Suwan, N.; Srisomboon, J. and Kietpeerakool, C. Knowledge about Human Papillomavirus Infection and Cervical Cancer Prevention among Nurses in Chiang Mai University Hospital, Thailand. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2011; Vol 12: 823-25.
[24]  Sait, K. H. Knowledge, Attitudes and practices regarding cervical cancer screening among physicians in Western Region of Saudi Arabia. Saudi. Med. J. 2011; 32(11):1155-60.
[25]  Elizabeth, O. ; Anne, M. and Peter, W. Awareness of cervical cancer risk factors and practice of pap smear testing among female primary school teachers in Kasarani division, Nairobi, Kenya. African Journal of Health Sciences. 2012; 21(2):121-32.
[26]  de Lima, D. B. S. ; Carvalho, M, G, F. ; Fernandes, T. A. A. ; de Araújo, J. M. G ; de Azevedo, p. R. M. ; et al. Knowledge, Attitudes and practice related to pap test and HPV among adolescents in NATAL, BRAZIL. British Journal of Medical and Health Sciences. 2013; 1(6): 01-14.
[27]  Ali, S. F. ; Afif, M. et al. Knowledge and awareness about cervical cancer and it’s preventation amongst interns and nursing staff in Tertiary care hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan. Journal. pone. 2010; 5(6).