Knowledge of human papillomavirus: differences by self-reported treatment for genital warts and sociodemographic characteristics

J Health Commun. 2009 Jun;14(4):331-45. doi: 10.1080/10810730902873067.


The aim of this study was to evaluate knowledge about human papillomavirus (HPV) in individuals with genital warts compared with women from the general population without genital warts. Human papillomavirus (HPV) knowledge among women reporting treatment for genital warts compared with HPV knowledge in women reporting no treatment was assessed using data from the population-based 2005 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). Three percent (N = 97) of women answered "yes" and 97% (N = 3,450) "no" to "Have you ever been treated for venereal warts or condyloma?" Women who reported treatment for genital warts, were more likely to have heard of HPV (odds ratio (OR): 2.4, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.4-4.2 vs. no or don't know), to have been told they had HPV (OR: 24.5, 95% CI: 11.4-52.8), and to have accurate information about HPV, such as HPV causes cancer (OR: 2.7, 95% CI: 1.8-4.3). A large proportion (41%) of women who reported treatment for genital warts, however, had not heard of HPV. These women tended to be older, poorer, less educated, non-Hispanic Black, less likely to have had a recent Pap test, and divorced, widowed, or separated. Women with genital warts are learning about HPV, but socioeconomically disadvantaged groups may need to be targeted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Condylomata Acuminata / diagnosis
  • Condylomata Acuminata / psychology*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Human papillomavirus 6*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult