Human Papilloma Virus, Risk Factors and Sequelae: How much do Female Adolescents in Port Harcourt Metropolis know?




Human Papillomavirus, cervical cancer, adolescents, Port Harcourt


Background: Human Papilloma virus (HPV) infection is the most common viral infection of the genital tract; is sexually transmitted with the highest rates observed in young women. This study assessed the level of knowledge of HPV and cervical cancer among adolescent girls in Port Harcourt metropolis, Nigeria.

Methodology: A cross-sectional survey among 328 in-school female secondary school students aged 9 - 19 years, selected via multi-stage sampling. Information on socio-demographics, knowledge of HPV and cervical cancer and sexual history were collected using a self-administered, semi-structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 23 and Chi square test was used to establish associations.

Results: Only 38.2% and 30% had heard of cervical cancer and HPV respectively; the media being the most common source. Knowledge oftransmission, risk factors, sequelae and prevention of infection was poor (75%). About 20.2% were aware of the causal association between HPV infection and cervical cancer. Some (3.1%) were sexually exposed and practiced unprotected sexual intercourse. Median age at sexual debut was 11 years. Older and private school students (15-19years) had better knowledge

Conclusion: The level of knowledge of HPV, cervical cancer, their association and risk factors, among adolescent girls in Port Harcourt metropolis is poor. Some adolescents engage in sexual practices that put them at risk for HPV infection. Social media and upper primary and secondary school-based approach to HPV health promotion should be explored to provide detailed adolescent-friendly information to guide in prevention of HPV infection and cervical cancer

Author Biographies

IL Oboro, Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Rivers State University / Teaching Hospital

Associate Dean

Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences,

College of Medical Sciences, 

Rivers State University

MA Alex-Wele, Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital

Head, Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology,

University of Port Harcourt/ Teaching Hospital

DS Ogaji, ACEPUTOR, University of Port Harcourt


Africa centre of excellence for public health and toxicological research

University of Port Harcourt


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2023-03-11 — Updated on 2023-03-16


How to Cite

Oboro, I. L., Alex-Wele, M. A., & Ogaji, D. samuel. (2023). Human Papilloma Virus, Risk Factors and Sequelae: How much do Female Adolescents in Port Harcourt Metropolis know?. The Nigerian Health Journal, 23(1), 452–459. (Original work published March 11, 2023)



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