Background and purpose: The United States' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that boys aged 11-12 be vaccinated against HPV to reduce the risk of genital warts and HPV-related cancers. No recommendation has been made in England although there have been calls to widen access to the vaccine. This study aimed to assess boys' willingness to have HPV vaccination, eliciting reasons for their decisions.
Methods: 528 boys aged 16-18 years completed a questionnaire in school. Measures included demographic characteristics, HPV awareness, willingness to have the vaccine, and reasons for the vaccine decision. Coding of open responses was informed by social cognition model constructs.
Results: A large proportion of the sample (41%) intended to have the vaccine, however, slightly more were unsure (49%) and a small number (10%) would not get vaccinated. Uncertainty was associated with lack of previous awareness of HPV and perceived lack of adequate information. Boys who would not have the vaccine did not feel at risk or did not see the need for it.
Conclusion: These preliminary data suggest that HPV vaccination may be acceptable to boys, and confirm previous findings that information is vital in the decision-making process.
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