Human Papillomavirus Infection among Teenage and Middle-Aged Women - Paper Example

Published: 2024-01-09
Human Papillomavirus Infection among Teenage and Middle-Aged Women - Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Education Health and Social Care Cancer
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1266 words
11 min read


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections. Sharma et al. (2015) asserted that infection with the varying types of high-risk human papillomaviruses (HR-HPVs) is one of the principal factors leading to cervical cancer development, one of the most predominant cancers in the world today. The risk factors for HPV are sexual intercourse at an early age, poor genital hygiene, multiple sexual partners, several pregnancies, and high parity (Sharma et al., 2015). HPV is dominant among adolescent girls since they have an immature cervix, and exposure to sex predisposes them to reproductive tract infections, including human papillomaviruses (Smith et al., 2008). Similarly, Smith et al. (2008) asserted that HPV is prevalent among middle-aged women since sexual intercourse and multiple pregnancies are frequent among people in this age group. Therefore, this study focuses on human papillomavirus infection among teenage and middle-aged women by reviewing existing literature on the topic and designing a health promotion description.

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Literature Review

The purpose of this project is to assess the prevalence of human papillomavirus among teenage and middle-aged women to create awareness and encourage health education among the affected population. Thus, this section provides a review of the literature regarding observations and solutions to the topic.

Health Issue

Human papillomavirus is a type of virus that causes abnormal tissue growth and changes to the cells. Infections for a long time can cause cervical cancer among populations. HPV has a substantial role in causing other types of cancer, such as the vagina, anal, and oropharyngeal cancers (Akarolo-Anthony et al., 2014). According to Akarolo-Anthony et al. (2014), HPV can affect women of all ages, but it is prevalent among adolescents and middle-aged women. About half of the sexually active women in the United States are at risk of HPV at some point in their lives (Dunne et al., 2014). A majority of the carriers do not manifest any symptoms. Although, in some cases, HPV clears on its own, in some individuals, the infection does not go away hence exacerbating the risks for cancer. HPV is prevalent among middle-aged women since they are sexually active, and predominant in sexually active adolescents due to the immature cervix.

Addressing cervical cancers among the target populations is essential hence stressing the rationale for solving the rise of HPV. According to Dunne et al. (2014), vaccines against HPV have been introduced in various countries as primary methods of preventing the spread of the virus. However, there still exist barriers to cervical screenings and vaccinations. The hindrances are lack of knowledge of the virus, unequal access to healthcare, and poor follow-up. Dunne et al. (2014) stipulated that out of the 150 different types of HPV, about 40 of them are transmitted through sexual intercourse. Reports by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have shown that 66% of cervical cancers, 55% of vaginal cancers, and 79% of anal cancers result from HPV infection (Dunne et al., 2014). Similarly, about 26,000 new cancer cases in the United States are attributed to the HPV virus hence showing the importance of solving the issue (Dunne et al., 2014).

Target Behavior

HPV results from high-risk sexual behaviors, making an individual susceptible to persistent HPV infection and the development of HPV-related cancers. The sexual risk behaviors that this health education activity hopes to address are advising adolescents on the appropriate age for the first vaginal and oral sex and teaching the importance of having one sexual partner among adolescents and middle-aged women (Wetzel et al., 2007). Another targeted behavior includes encouraging sexually active adolescents and middle-aged women to regularly screen for HPV infections, minimizing the risks of cervical cancers.

Vaccinations and free cervical screening programs have been conducted in almost all parts of the world. The implications of such programs are that a majority of people have shown up for the vaccinations. However, follow-up programs have not been well implemented; hence, assessing the vaccine’s impacts has become challenging. Regardless of the efficacy of the programs in fostering cervical cancer awareness, most adolescents and middle-aged women are still unaware of cervical cancer risk factors and the importance of regular screening.

Health Demonstration Description

Increasing awareness of HPV infections among adolescents and middle-aged women, an education protocol activity could be significant. The protocol’s content should include information about the virology, history of HPV infection, abnormal Pap tests, the transmission of the virus, the clinical sequel of the disease, and prevention of HPV infection and HPV-related diseases. The proposed protocol will be arranged in two booklet sets, one for the patients and the educator. The patient’s booklet should contain pictures, key terminologies, and diagrams, while the educator’s brochure should follow the scripts. Adolescents who attained a fourth or fifth-grade reading level, and middle-aged women should comprehend the booklet’s content.

The education activity is in line with the ecological models of health behavior. The model emphasizes the environmental and policy factors of behavior. The theory incorporates social and psychological influences on behavior (Wetzel et al., 2007). The education activity encourages the targeted audience to consider all levels of influence when acting toward behavior and lifestyle change. The above education activity appeals to teenagers and middle-aged women to change their day-to-day activities and be sensitive to the fact that the HPV virus exists and could cause substantial harm if urgent preventive and treatment actions are not implemented.

The selected setting for health education activity is a church. Many teenagers and middle-aged women attend churches, and by holding health activities in a church setting, the health promotion team will reach a significant number of audiences. The techniques employed to identify and recruit the targeted population are to give a brief introduction of the topic and explain why adolescents and middle-aged women should participate in the activity due to their risks of HPV exposure. Verbal communication strategies will be employed to convince the targeted audience to adopt healthy living practices by making healthier lifestyle options. The health educational activity will use cultural competence, which helps improve the overall health outcomes and quality of care hence contributing to the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities. A Church setting helps enhance cultural competence since people from different ethnic groups often attend churches; therefore, racial and ethnic inequalities will be eliminated.


Akarolo-Anthony, S. N., Famooto, A. O., Dareng, E. O., Olaniyan, O. B., Offiong, R., Wheeler, C. M., & Adebamowo, C. A. (2014). Age-specific prevalence of human papilloma virus infection among Nigerian women. BMC Public Health, 14(1).

Dunne, E. F., Markowitz, L. E., Saraiya, M., Stokley, S., Middleman, A., Unger, E. R., Williams, A., & Isklander, J. (2014, January 31). CDC grand rounds: Reducing the burden of HPV-associated cancer and disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sharma, K., Kathait, A., Jain, A., Kujur, K., Raghuwanshi, S., Bharti, A. C., Saklani, A. C., & Das, B. C. (2015). Higher prevalence of human papillomavirus infection in adolescent and young adult girls belonging to different Indian tribes with varied socio-sexual lifestyle. PLOS ONE, 10(5), e0125693.

Smith, J. S., Melendy, A., Rana, R. K., & Pimenta, J. M. (2008). Age-specific prevalence of infection with human papillomavirus in females: A global review. The Journal of Adolescent Health : Official Publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 43(4 Suppl), S5-25, S25.e1-41.

Wetzel, C., Tissot, A., Kollar, L. M., Hillard, P. A., Stone, R., & Kahn, J. A. (2007). Development of an HPV educational protocol for adolescents. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, 20(5), 281–287.

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