Background: This paper explores knowledge of and attitudes toward sexually transmissible infections, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and vaccine acceptability among young people in Australia. It also explores factors influencing acceptance and attempts to identify gender differences in knowledge and acceptance.
Methods: The study employed a qualitative approach and involved 14 in-depth interviews with young men and women aged between 18 and 23 years who reside in Melbourne, Australia.
Results: The findings suggest that knowledge of HPV is inadequate; however, this was not found to have any impact on vaccine acceptance, which was reported as high. No clear gender differences were found in virus and vaccine knowledge and vaccine acceptance.
Conclusion: It is clear in the present study that vaccination is generally viewed positively by the young men and women involved in the study and the health beliefs of these individuals have been shaped largely by several factors including cost of the vaccine, access to the vaccine and personal susceptibility to the virus.