Introduction: Cervical cancer, a major consequence of persistent HPV infection, is the third most common cancer in women worldwide and has claimed around 311,000 women lives in 2018. The majority of these deaths took place in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In LMICs, where cervical cancer screening coverage is low, the HPV vaccine is a promising tool for preventing HPV infections and, thus, averting cervical cancer cases. In Indonesia, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer and HPV vaccination demonstration programs are underway in several provinces, but the HPV vaccine has not yet been introduced nationally. Since students are an important source of information for the community, and medical and nursing students are the future healthcare professionals, this study explored the knowledge, attitude, and acceptability of the HPV vaccine among University students in Indonesia.
Methodology: A self-administered online questionnaire was used to assess the knowledge, attitude, and willingness of University students toward HPV vaccination.
Result: A total of 433 students from Medical, Nursing, Social Sciences, and other faculties participated in the survey. It was identified that over 90% of the students were aware of cervical cancer and HPV, but only 68% knew about the HPV vaccine before participating in the study. Despite an average knowledge on the HPV vaccine, the students showed a strong willingness to receive the vaccine (95.8% acceptance rate). They believed that the HPV vaccine is safe and effective and that it will protect against HPV infection. The high cost and the lack of adequate information flow on HPV-related topics have been identified as potential barriers to the adoption of the HPV vaccine in Indonesia.
Conclusion: Despite a high willingness for HPV vaccine uptake among students, there is a need to provide education on HPV vaccine-related topics to Indonesian students through awareness and training programs and improving the academic curriculum on vaccination for the long-term sustainability of the HPV vaccination program.