Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine and compare the knowledge and attitudes toward human papillomavirus (HPV), HPV vaccine, Pap tests, and cervical cancer among US and Peruvian women.
Materials and Methods: A convenience sample of 275 US women in Augusta, GA, and 702 Peruvian women living in or near Cusco, Peru, completed 22- or 21-item questionnaires, respectively. These questionnaires determined their knowledge about HPV, the HPV vaccine, Pap tests, and cervical cancer. Simple logistic regression was used to determine the relationship between location and language on the correct responses. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated.
Results: US Spanish- (OR = 0.02), Quechua- (OR = 0.05), and Peru Spanish-speaking women (OR = 0.03) were significantly less likely to know that HPV causes cervical cancer compared with US non–Spanish-speaking women. US Spanish- (OR = 10.61, OR = 5.74), Quechua- (OR = 11.08, OR = 9.89), and Peru Spanish-speaking women (OR = 17.25, 14.43) were significantly more likely to be embarrassed and afraid, respectively, to get a Pap test compared with US non–Spanish-speaking women. US Spanish- (OR = 0.11), Quechua- (OR = 0.14), and Peru Spanish-speaking women (OR = 0.11) women were significantly less likely to know the HPV vaccine is safe and effective compared with US non–Spanish-speaking women.
Conclusions: Education must be implemented to address serious misconceptions and worrisome attitudes toward Pap tests and the HPV vaccine to decrease the rate of cervical cancer in Peru and US Spanish-speaking women.