Background and objectives: Little is known about the acceptability of vaccines for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The purpose of this study was to examine potential predictors of genital herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) vaccine acceptability.
Goals: To evaluate the relationship of health beliefs and health behaviors to HSV-2 vaccine acceptability.
Study design: Three hundred twenty-one subjects participating in two phase III clinical trials for an HSV-2 vaccine completed surveys addressing health beliefs, health behaviors, and acceptability of hypothetical HSV-2 vaccines.
Results: Bivariate analyses found that perceived benefits of vaccination, seatbelt use, a healthy diet, and having had cholesterol levels checked were associated with higher acceptability. Perceived limitations of HSV-2 immunization, alcohol use, and exercise were associated with lower acceptability. Multiple regression analysis identified perceived benefits of vaccination, decreased exercise, and lower alcohol use as significant independent predictors of greater HSV-2 vaccine acceptability.
Conclusions: In groups of high-risk individuals who had completed participation in HSV-2 clinical trials, health beliefs and health behaviors influenced acceptability of hypothetical HSV-2 vaccination. The findings support the need to understand determinants of acceptance of vaccines for HSV-2 and other STDs.