Acceptability of human papillomavirus vaccine for males: a review of the literature

J Adolesc Health. 2010 Feb;46(2):113-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2009.11.199.


The quadrivalent human papillomavirus virus vaccine was recently licensed for use in males in the United States. This study reviews available published literature on acceptability among parents, health care providers, and young males. Among 23 published articles, half were conducted in the United States. The majority (87%) used quantitative survey methodology, and 13% used more explorative qualitative techniques. Convenience samples were used in most cases (74%) and 26% relied on nationally representative samples. Acceptability of a human papillomavirus virus (HPV) vaccine that protects against cervical cancer and genital warts was high in studies conducted among male college students (74%-78%) but lower in a community sample of males (33%). Among mothers of sons, support of HPV vaccination varied widely from 12% to 100%, depending on the mother's ethnicity and type of vaccine, but was generally high for a vaccine that would protect against both genital warts and cervical cancer. Health providers' intention to recommend HPV vaccine to male patients varied by patient age but was high (82%-92%) for older adolescent patients. A preference to vaccinate females over males was reported in a majority of studies among parents and health care providers. Messages about cervical cancer prevention for female partners did not resonate among adult males or parents. Future acceptability studies might incorporate more recent data on HPV-related disease, HPV vaccines, and cost-effectiveness data to provide more current information on vaccine acceptability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Condylomata Acuminata / prevention & control
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Human Papillomavirus Recombinant Vaccine Quadrivalent, Types 6, 11, 16, 18
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / education
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Primary Prevention / organization & administration*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Tumor Virus Infections / prevention & control
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Human Papillomavirus Recombinant Vaccine Quadrivalent, Types 6, 11, 16, 18
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines