Date of Award


Degree Name



Public Health


Julia Lechuga


Background and Significance: The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. Currently, approximately 79 million people in the United States are infected with HPV. The CDC estimates that there are nearly 31,500 cases of cancers caused by HPV each year in the United States. Cervical cancer is the most common HPV-related cancer and almost all cervical cancers are caused by a few strains of HPV. Research suggests that Latinx women residing in the U.S.-Mexico border may be at increased risk of contracting HPV types that cause cervical cancer. Although there is no treatment for HPV, there is a primary form of prevention, an HPV vaccine. The United States has one of the most liberal vaccination policies allowing for religious and other forms of exemptions. These exemptions are set in place to reduce perceptions of government intrusion on individual autonomy. Attitudes about the role of the government in regulating individual freedoms for immunization measures are closely linked to political affiliation. Objective: The purpose of the study is to determine the moderating influence of political affiliation and the mediating influence of distrust of government and pharmaceutical companies on the established association between perceived benefits and severity and vaccination intentions and uptake. Methods: The HPV VAKS survey is a cross-sectional survey that will collect demographic information such as age, sex, ethnicity, sexual activity, number of children, and whether their children or themselves have received the HPV vaccine. Knowledge, culture, religion, political affiliation, and familism will also be measured through the survey to assess how they contribute to vaccine uptake among the El Paso community. Factors that may contribute to vaccine acceptance such as trust in the government, health care providers, and other resources will be measured. Results: Results indicate that endorsement of a conservative political affiliation and greater distrust of government and pharmaceutical companies is associated with reduced likelihood of vaccination. Distrust did not mediate the relationship between political affiliation and vaccination likelihood. On the other hand, perceived benefits of vaccination and severity of contracting HPV is positively associated with vaccination. Political affiliation did not moderate the association between perceived benefits and severity and vaccination likelihood.

Conclusion: Results have implications for the development of vaccination promotion public health interventions including tailored interventions designed to reduce distrust and to inform Latinx communities about the benefits of vaccination and negative consequences associated with HPV.

Key words: Human Papillomavirus, Cervical Cancer, HPV Vaccine, Vaccine Intentions, Health Belief Model, Political Affiliation, Distrust in Government

Word Count:392




Received from ProQuest

File Size

73 p.

File Format


Rights Holder

Alyssa Andrea Martinez