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Current HIV Research


ISSN (Print): 1570-162X
ISSN (Online): 1873-4251

The Views of Young Women on HPV Vaccine Communication in Four European Countries

Author(s): Dafina Petrova, Carol Gray Brunton, Moritz Jaeger, Anita Lenneis, Rocio Munoz, Rocio Garcia-Retamero and Irina Todorova

Volume 13, Issue 5, 2015

Page: [347 - 358] Pages: 12

DOI: 10.2174/1570162X13666150511124743

Price: $65


The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) and can cause cervical cancer. Two vaccines are available to protect against the most common strands of the virus. Vaccination programs differ across Europe but most neglect young adults, who are the group with the highest risk of contracting STIs. Our aim was to explore the views of young women from four European countries-Scotland, Spain, Serbia, and Bulgaria - about the HPV vaccine communication strategy. These countries are characterized by different cervical cancer prevalence and vaccine implementation policies. We conducted focus group discussions with young women (aged 18-26) with various vaccination histories in a purposive sample. We subjected the data to thematic analysis with the purpose of identifying themes related to communication about the HPV vaccine. We recorded the information sources mentioned by participants. Participants discussed numerous sources of vaccine-related information. They approached information critically rather than naively and questioned the sources’ trustworthiness and motives. Participants desired transparent information about the risks of the virus and the risks and benefits of the vaccine. These risks and benefits were individualized in view of personal and external factors. Particular aspects of the vaccine and the way information was communicated resulted in feelings of uncertainty. There were notable cross-cultural differences in experiences with HPV vaccine communication. Our results suggest that transparent risk communication about the HPV vaccine is valued by young women. In addition, both individual and culturally-dependent factors influenced experiences with, and preference for information.

Keywords: Cross-cultural, human papilloma virus, qualitative, risk communication, sexually-transmitted disease, sexuallytransmitted infection, vaccination.

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