Exploring views regarding targeted HPV vaccination in young men who have sex with men and their healthcare professionals

Gillian Prue, Carrie Flannagan, Jo Kesten, Samuel W D Merriel, Gilla Shapiro, Zeev Rosberger

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There is no public human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme for boys in the UK. As men who have sex with men (MSM) may be at greater risk for HPV-associated cancers, they have been offered targeted HPV vaccination at Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) clinics since 2016.

A mixed method study included questionnaires and focus groups with young (16–24 years) MSM, and an online questionnaire with GPs and GUM HCPs to investigate HPV knowledge and attitudes to targeted vaccination. GPs were included given their potential to vaccinate young MSM before sexual debut. T-tests and logistic regression were used to analyse quantitative data and a thematic analysis was performed to evaluate qualitative data.

18 MSM (Mage = 20) and 87 HCPs (Mage = 41) participated. Most MSM were aware of HPV (55.6%), but only 16.7% discussed HPV vaccination with their HCPs. MSM focus groups revealed vaccination barriers including ‘unfamiliar and clinical’ conversations about their sexuality with HCPs. MSM preferred being offered the vaccine by HCPs rather than requesting it and suggested universal school-based vaccination may be more accessible. GPs were less likely than GUM HCPs to believe there was sufficient evidence for vaccinating MSM (OR = 0.07 95%CI = 0.01,0.59); less likely to have skills to identify MSM who may benefit (OR = 0.03 95%CI = 0.01,0.15); and less confident recommending young MSM vaccination (OR = 0.06 95%CI = 0.02,0.21).

To prevent HPV-associated cancers in MSM, greater education and support is needed targeting MSM (e.g. dissemination of information about the targeted programme and GPs offering vaccination), but GPs may need education and implementation support for this.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstracts of the 2017 World Congress of Psycho-Oncology, 14-18 August 2017, Berlin, Germany
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1057-9249
ISSN (Electronic)1099-1611


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