American Journal of Public Health Research. 2013, 1(8), 221-225DOI:
Abstract: 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.