Background: Programs aimed at boosting awareness on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV vaccination are considered one of the most effective strategies for increasing vaccination uptake and eliminating HPV-associated cancers. Several US states have demonstrated a strong commitment to this effort through legislation and dedicated funds, however the impact of this intervention over time remains poorly studied.

Methods: Using a nationally representative population of US adults from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), we examined for awareness of HPV and HPV vaccination between 2009 and 2018. Prevalence estimates and confidence intervals were calculated for HPV and HPV vaccination awareness. Further, we assessed awareness status after stratifying by key sociodemographic characteristics.

Results: Overall, the awareness of HPV and HPV vaccination declined over time. This finding was consistent across gender and socioeconomic strata. The lowest rates of awareness were found among those with educational level at or below high school completion, those who earned less than $35,000 per annum, rural residents, and male adults, aged 60 years and older. Declines in awareness of HPV or HPV vaccination between 2014 and 2018 were more than 10% among male adults, those with educational level at or below high school completion and those who earned less than$35,000 per annum. Only 36.1% of adults with high school education or lower had ever heard of HPV vaccine in 2018, a 15.6% reduction from 2009. In 2018 awareness of HPV and HPV vaccine was highest among non-Hispanic whites (65.8% and 66.5%) and female adults (70.5% and 71.4%), however these figures represented declines of at least 5% from rates observed in 2009.

Discussion: Amid a background of sub-optimal HPV vaccination uptake and a growing incidence of HPV-associated cancers in the US, the awareness of HPV and HPV vaccination within the general population has declined over time. This calls for stricter enforcement of legislature aimed at boosting HPV awareness, as well as frequent evaluations of government-funded HPV awareness programs.

Citation Format: Onyema G. Chido-Amajuoyi, Inimfon Jackson, Robert Yu, Sanjay Shete. Declining awareness of HPV and HPV vaccination within the general US population [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research 2020; 2020 Apr 27-28 and Jun 22-24. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2020;80(16 Suppl):Abstract nr 1140.