Human papillomavirus vaccine and men: what are the obstacles and challenges?

Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2012 Feb;25(1):86-91. doi: 10.1097/QCO.0b013e32834ed5be.


Purpose of review: The present review describes the indications for vaccinating men with the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, reports on the US rates of male vaccination, and reviews the recent research on acceptability of vaccinating men and research on the cost-effectiveness of adding men to existing female HPV immunization programs.

Recent findings: Recent evidence shows that the quadrivalent HPV vaccine prevents several HPV-related diseases in men. However, despite the licensure of the vaccine in the USA for men 9 through 26 years of age, rates of male vaccination are very low. Research on acceptability, in general, indicates strong interest in vaccination among men, parents, and healthcare providers, though female vaccination is typically seen as a higher priority. Cost-effectiveness studies indicate that in the context of modest female vaccination rates and with the specification of a broad range of disease outcomes (e.g. genital warts, anogenital cancers, and oropharyngeal cancers), male vaccination can be quite cost-effective.

Summary: Men are at high risk for HPV infection and can benefit from vaccination, but vaccination rates among men remain extremely low. More research needs to be done on the predictors of uptake of HPV vaccine among men and on the development of interventions to increase male vaccination.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Vaccination / economics
  • Mass Vaccination / organization & administration
  • Mass Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / economics
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / economics
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • United States


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines