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Building trust, increasing awareness among minorities
Date:2/5/2009

e likely to be screened if the family or friends encouraged it, or if their insurance paid for it.

#B75. HPV knowledge, attitudes and cultural beliefs among Hispanic men and women living on the Texas-Mexico border

A new study on knowledge, attitudes and cultural responses to the human papillomavirus among Hispanics found that both men and women had low levels of knowledge, significant misunderstandings, and cultural beliefs about HPV that may need to be addressed to decrease the risk of cervical cancer among this population.

Maria E. Fernandez, Ph.D., assistant professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, conducted five focus groups in Brownsville, Texas, that included 30 Hispanic women and 11 Hispanic men. Women had a mean age of 41.3 years and men had a mean age of 38.8 years.

Researchers found that participants had little understanding about HPV and its role in cancer. Women believed that a diagnosis of HPV was a diagnosis of cancer and had fatalistic beliefs about the outcome of cancer. Women also thought that they would be reluctant to disclose their HPV positive status to their partners because they believed men would accuse them of infidelity. Men, too, initially attributed their partners' diagnosis of HPV to infidelity. Nevertheless, after a brief explanation about HPV etiology and transmission, men and women began to understand the ambiguity related to an HPV infection and believed that partners would generally support women as they sought health care for the infection."The results of this study suggest that understanding Hispanics' cultural norms and values concerning disease, sexuality and gender is essential to the design and implementation of successful interventions for the prevention and treatment of HPV and cervical cancer," said Fernandez.


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Contact: Jeremy Moore
Jeremy.moore@aacr.org
267-646-0557
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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