Purpose: To investigate the effect of implementation of the HPV vaccine on HPV knowledge and HPV vaccine acceptance.
Methods: From June until December 2009 in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, 698 male and female students aged 18-25 years were recruited and interviewed about HPV, cervical carcinoma and HPV vaccine acceptance.
Results: Of all participants 46.6% had never heard of HPV. Women and students from the medical faculty were significantly more aware of HPV. Acceptance of a "catch-up" HPV vaccination in women was 51% and in men 27%. Acceptance of the HPV vaccination for 12-year old girls was 79%.
Conclusion: After implementation of the HPV vaccine in the national vaccination program, > 50% of the students lack knowledge on HPV. Acceptance of a "catch-up" HPV vaccination was low. However, the acceptance of HPV vaccination for 12-year-old girls was high. Vaccine implementation strategies, focusing on 12-16 year old girls, might have caused this difference. Young adults need to be informed that the HPV vaccine may still be efficient when they are sexually active, but HPV 16 and 18 negative.