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Despite the existence of a safe and effective vaccine, human papillomavirus (HPV) remains prevalent in the United States, with late adolescence and early adulthood being periods of increased risk. Thus, targeting college-aged individuals for HPV prevention and vaccination promotion is critical—particularly in regions such as the Deep South where vaccination rates remain low. This study sought to examine awareness and knowledge of HPV as well as experiences and attitudes regarding HPV vaccination among college students in the Deep South. Specifically, we completed a cross-sectional survey of 256 undergraduate students from a large public university in South Carolina. Although a majority of participants were aware of HPV, significant knowledge gaps existed, particularly regarding prevention, symptoms, and consequences of HPV infection. Participants were also largely unaware of men’s susceptibility for negative HPV outcomes. Multivariate regression modeling was used to identify predictors of HPV knowledge, with results indicating that participants who were female and white, as well as those who were vaccinated, had higher levels of HPV knowledge. Findings highlight the need for comprehensive HPV education on college campuses and offer insights to priority populations that may be appropriate focuses of efforts to increase HPV knowledge and vaccination rates.

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© The Author(s) 2019 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (

APA Citation

Kasymova, S., Harrison, S., & Pascal, C. (2019). Knowledge and Awareness of Human Papillomavirus Among College Students in South Carolina. Infectious Diseases: Research And Treatment, 12, 117863371882507.

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