Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2011


human papillomavirus, HPV vaccine, LGBT, college students


Susan Vadaparampil

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Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases and can cause several types of cancer, including cervical and anal cancer. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population is an often overlooked subgroup at risk for HPV. The purpose of this research was to describe LGBT college students‟ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors pertaining to HPV and the HPV vaccine. An online survey consisting of 54 items was created and sent to members of an organization consisting primarily of LGBT students at the University of South Florida. A total of 155 students completed the survey. Several major premises were identified: most students had heard of HPV and were fairly knowledgeable about the general concept, but were much less knowledge when it came to specific details. Most students agreed that HPV and HPV-related disease were serious, but did not perceive themselves to be at risk for contracting HPV. Approximately one-third of participants received the HPV vaccine, and while over half of participants reported condom use, use of other safer sex barrier methods was lacking. By conducting this exploratory survey, we were able to identify and understand factors associated with preventive sexual health measures (i.e., HPV vaccination), which may serve as an important step toward developing and planning interventions to promote these measures in the future.


Social Issues