Many women unaware of link between HPV and cervical cancer

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com August 06 2003 11:00 PM ET

A study in the August edition of the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases shows that many women are unaware that the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus causes about 95% of all cervical cancer cases. The study of 1,000 London women also showed that many mistakenly believe that oral contraceptives protect against HPV infection. Fewer than one third of the women had ever heard of HPV, and of those who were aware of the STD, only half knew it was linked with cervical cancer. Older women and those who have had abnormal Pap tests in the past were the most likely to know of the HPV-cervical cancer link. The researchers say public education on HPV and ways to prevent HPV infections is needed so that women seeking cervical cancer screening will be fully informed about the tests and the meaning of their test results.