Notes from the Field

Lesson Learned During Data Collection: Triangulation of Data Collection Sources is Vital

Adolescents living with HIV are advised to get the HPV vaccine to lower their risk of HPV-related problems, such as cervical cancer. My research study is being conducted to investigate the uptake of HPV vaccination among HIV adolescent girls attending ART clinics, as there is limited data on HIV-positive adolescents. To understand HIV-positive young peoples’ HPV vaccination uptake, we have found that it is crucial to triangulate data from various sources, verify results, and ensure the validity of the study.

Interviews we conducted revealed barriers to vaccination among young people, including ignorance, poor preparation, misconceptions, and the lack of parental approval. We also conducted meetings with parents and caregivers to address these issues. Parents and caregivers were interviewed about HPV vaccination knowledge, and most were unaware, believing it would prevent future parenthood for the adolescents. Everyone wished that they knew more before vaccination.

Parents and guardians significantly promote HPV vaccination among adolescents by providing education, consent, healthcare access, advocacy, fostering trust, supporting their child’s healthcare decisions, and serving as role models. Collaboration between parents, healthcare providers, and adolescents is crucial for ensuring that adolescents receive the HPV vaccine and benefit from its protective effects against HPV-related diseases.

Health workers interviewed by our team shared barriers and provided comprehensive ART services to young people, focusing on HIV, in ART clinics. Most people are aware of HPV vaccination, but they often lack specific information on target group, dose, and duration. As part of our discussions, they acknowledge they have not paid much attention to it, but they do promise improvement.

In May, our stakeholders will gather to discuss study findings, prioritize strategies for HPV vaccination uptake among HIV-infected girls, and collaborate on strategies.

In conclusion, we know that triangulation of data collection is essential for understanding HPV vaccination uptake among HIV adolescents, identifying trends, and providing insights for public health strategies to increase vaccination rates and reduce disparities.