More than half of the new cervical cancer cases in Georgia are late-stage diagnoses, thus reducing the opportunity for effective treatment. The government had launched a state cancer screening program, and five years later, the program had expanded to other regions in Georgia.

Researchers designed this study to estimate awareness about HPV, cervical cancer screening, the HPV vaccine, and the seroprevalence of HPV infection among reproductive-aged Georgian women.

Of the five hundred study participants, approximately half were aware of HPV, and 36.4% stated that the leading cause of cervical cancer is HPV. Of those familiar with HPV, 78% reported attending cervical cancer screening at least once during their lifetime. Half of all respondents were unaware of the HPV vaccine. Women reporting no condom use were more likely to have HPV antibodies. Awareness of cervical cancer screening was significantly associated with HPV seropositivity. Multivariate analysis revealed that absences of condom use and lack of knowledge about cervical cancer screening were independently associated with HPV seropositivity.

The study concluded that the government should develop more comprehensive public awareness campaigns to raise awareness about HPV screening and prevention.

Reference: https://srh.bmj.com/content/41/4/265