AACR: Black Teens Receptive to HPV Vaccination

Survey shows consensus among teens, caregivers is that human papillomavirus vaccination is a beneficial option

THURSDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Despite a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rate of only 25 percent, black adolescents and their caregivers hold generally positive attitudes about the vaccine, according to research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities held Feb. 3 to 6 in Carefree, Ariz.

Ian Frank, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues surveyed 71 adolescents (94 percent black, mean age 15.3), about 60 percent of whom reported they had their first sexual intercourse at age 14. They also surveyed 45 caregivers (all of whom were black, 94 percent female).

The researchers found the subjects were aware of controversies surrounding the HPV vaccine. But they found that 43.9 percent of unvaccinated adolescents reported that they were either "very likely" or "likely" to receive the vaccine soon. A majority of the adolescents and their caregivers also agreed that vaccination was a "good" or "very good" idea and considered the vaccine as "safe," "effective" and a "wise choice." However, approximately two-thirds of the caregivers reported they could not remember their health care provider mentioning the vaccine.

"Many of these caregivers, most of whom were women, reported feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of raising an adolescent girl, but they wanted to protect their daughters from health and emotional risks," Frank said in a statement. "This suggests they would respond positively to an increased effort to inoculate."

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