Background: Despite the disparate human papillomavirus (HPV) infection rates among sexually active Black young adults, HPV vaccine uptake remains low among this population. This study aimed to explore HPV beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge among Black young adults and provide recommendations on ways to improve vaccine uptake. Methods: We used a mixed-method, convergent design to conduct five focus groups and administered a 40-item electronic survey that was developed with health belief model (HBM) constructs. We assessed HPV and vaccine knowledge, barriers, and attitudes toward vaccination. We analyzed quantitative data using descriptive statistics and bivariate methods. Focus group transcripts were analyzed using content analysis. Results were integrated to obtain a better understanding of the topic. Results: Forty individuals participated in the study. The mean age was 22.2 ± 4.5 years and 55% identified as African immigrants. Integrated data revealed themes mapped to relevant HBM constructs. Almost one third (32.5%) of participants were unaware of their susceptibility to HPV infection and its severity. From focus group discussions, the majority (75%) believed that vaccines are beneficial. Major cues to action include promoting HPV vaccine uptake via community wide informational sessions, provider recommendation, and social and mass media campaigns. Conclusion: Barriers to vaccine uptake, limited HPV knowledge, and lack of vaccine recommendation are important factors contributing to low vaccine uptake among Black young adults. Interventions to decrease barriers to HPV vaccination, increase HPV knowledge, address misconceptions, and unfavorable beliefs are needed to promote HPV vaccine uptake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-489
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Black young adults
  • HPV vaccine
  • Mixed-methods
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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