The establishment of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer correlation in Malaysia is somehow accompanied by low vaccine uptake despite government attempt introducing costless vaccination program years ago. It was found that negative perception of HPV hinders vaccination uptake which usually is observed in rural area where access to information is limited, and amongst youngsters. This research assesses and analyses the awareness, knowledge, and attitudes of Malaysian private university students regarding HPV and its vaccine in urban setting.A cross-sectional study designed was employed with questionnaire serving as the research instrument. A total of 425 university students were recruited voluntarily. Thirteen assessable questions were analysed to reveal the mean total knowledge score of HPV and its vaccine. Both descriptive and statistical approach were employed to analyse the collected data. We found out thatstudents were moderately aware as 59.8% and 49.6% have heard about HPV and its vaccine, respectively. The mean total knowledge score was 5.26 ± 3.10 out of 13 which was found to be moderately knowledgeable. Female (N= 235) have a significantly higher mean knowledge score in comparison to male (N= 190) at 5.58 ± 2.80 versus 4.87 ± 3.40, respectively (p<0.05), likely due to the disease profile favouring female. As hypothesised, health-related school students (N= 171) outperformed other schools (N= 254) at 7.00 ± 2.95 versus 4.10 ± 2.62, respectively (p<0.001). In general, the score depends on participant’s gender and educational background (χ2= 25.426, p<0.01 and χ2= 105.337, p<0.001, respectively). Despite low vaccination uptake (28.5%), students accept the vaccine following physician’s recommendation and reject due to its cost. A positive attitude was seen as majority (88.7%) wished to know more about HPV.Moderation in awareness, knowledge and attitudes reflect the lifestyle of an urbanised population where information is accessible. Healthcare professionals, media campaign, and educational talk refinement are therefore essential in controlling the disease by spreading awareness. Recently, the government have approved a follow-up free vaccination to those who missed the initial regime. Hence, more effort is required to boost up the response rate nationwide.
HPV; Vaccine; Perception; Cervical cancer; Cancer prevention; Students; Malaysia