Disparities in awareness of the HPV vaccine and HPV-associated cancers among racial/ethnic minority populations: 2018 HINTS

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Ethnicity & health








Asian Americans; Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS); Hispanics; Human papillomavirus; U.S. adults; awareness; health care disparities; health disparities; health equity; human papillomavirus vaccine; minority health; racial and ethnic minorities; underserved populations


OBJECTIVES: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that currently infects nearly 80 million people in the United States (U.S.) and can lead to cancer. HPV vaccination provides safe, effective, and lasting protection against HPV infections. Nevertheless, vaccination rates remain suboptimal. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between sociodemographic characteristics, HPV and HPV vaccine awareness, and knowledge of HPV-associated cancers among U.S. adults. DESIGN: Using responses from 3504 U.S. adults (aged 18 years and older) from the Health Information National Trends Survey 5 Cycle 2 (January-May 2018), we performed descriptive analysis to assess the level of awareness of HPV and HPV vaccines and knowledge of HPV-associated cancer. Multivariable regression analysis (including race, gender, age, level of education, marital status, number of children younger than 18) was conducted with weighted analysis. RESULTS: About 62% of respondents had heard of HPV and HPV vaccine. Asians had a lower level of awareness than non-Hispanic Whites of HPV (36.4% vs. 66.1%) and HPV vaccine (48.7% vs. 67.1%). Multivariable analysis showed that race/ethnicity was associated with outcomes, with Asians being less likely to have heard about HPV (aOR = 0.17, 95% CI: 0.07-0.38) and non-Hispanic Blacks (aOR = 0.57, 95% CI: 0.35-0.91) and Hispanics (aOR = 0.54, 95% CI: 0.36-0.80) being less likely to have heard of the HPV vaccine than non-Hispanic Whites. In addition, gender, age, marital status, and education were associated with awareness of HPV and the HPV vaccine; in particular, individuals who were female, younger (18-45), married, and more highly educated were more likely to have heard of HPV and HPV vaccine. CONCLUSION: Results highlight disparities in HPV and HPV vaccine awareness among racial/ethnic minority populations. Future interventions and legislation should target racial/ethnic minority populations to foster improvements in HPV vaccine uptake and reduce disparities in HPV-associated cancers.


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