Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States, remains a considerable public health problem. HPV has been associated with anogenital warts and cancers in males and females, affecting the cervix, penis, anus, vulvar, and vaginal regions; and more recently, has been associated with oropharyngeal cancers. In 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a prophylactic quadrivalent HPV vaccine for females (9-26 years); in 2009, this approval extended to males of this same age group. However, limited research has examined attitudes and other factors related to males' intention to receive the vaccine.
Methods: Factors associated with HPV vaccination intentions/willingness were examined among: (1) males (N=296) participating in a HPV natural history study with repeated exposure to HPV information; and (2) male University students (N=198) "unexposed" to intense HPV messages and testing.
Results: About 94% of HPV study participants and 62% of University males reported intentions/willingness toward vaccination, respectively. In multivariate analyses, among HPV study males, concerns about getting an appointment (odds ratio [OR], 0.06; confidence interval [CI], 0.01- 0.68), getting time off (OR, 0.14; CI, 0.03- 0.63), and "other" barriers (OR, 0.04; CI, 0.01- 0.17) were negatively associated with vaccine intentions. Among University males, vaccine awareness (OR, 0.06; CI, 0.02- 0.17), low risk perceptions (OR, 0.11; CI, 0.04-0.33), and unimportance of provider recommendations (OR, 9.66; CI, 2.69 -34.68) were negatively associated with willingness to vaccinate.
Conclusion: Repeated exposure to HPV information and provider recommendations may be critical for male vaccine promotion. Future research is needed to increase understanding of factors that may prevent men from receiving HPV vaccination.