199178 Awareness, perceptions and knowledge of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and vaccine in a cohort of men who have sex with men (MSM)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 9:20 AM

Melvin V. Gerbie, MD , Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Leena Bhattacharya, MD , Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Tina Q. Tan, MD , Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Background: MSM are at higher risk for acquiring an HPV genital infection. A prophylactic HPV vaccine is currently in clinical trials in males.

Objective: To examine the awareness, perception of risk, and knowledge of HPV disease and vaccine among MSM.

Design/Methods: Voluntary, anonymous survey administered to male students from medical and law schools in Chicago, IL. MSM were identified by personal history. The maximum HPV knowledge score was 6.

Results: 1,195 male students completed the survey; 55 MSM were identified. 72.7% were Caucasian, 20% Asian, 1.8% Black and 5.5% other races. 16.5% smoked. 98.2% were sexually active; 74.6% became sexually active between 16 and 20 years of age. 8.2% had 4-6, 24.5% 7-10, and 40.8% had >10 partners. 20.8% rarely/never used condoms. Forty percent saw their PCP annually; 27.3% rarely/never sought routine medical care.

Mean HPV knowledge score was 4.61 vs. 3.92 for non-MSM males, p<0.0001. 100% identified HPV as cause of cervical cancer; only 66% knew HPV caused genital warts with 28.3% identifying HSV-1 as the cause. Eighty-nine percent knew of HPV vaccine, 83% would consider receiving it. Primary barriers to receiving vaccine included: believing not at risk (33.3%), cost (25%), and already infected (13.9%).

Conclusions: This MSM cohort demonstrated greater HPV knowledge compared to non-MSM; however, they lacked knowledge regarding HPV as cause of genital warts. The biggest barrier to receiving vaccine was perceived lack of risk for disease. Intensive education regarding prevalence, risk factors and consequences of male HPV disease is needed to increase vaccine acceptance.

Learning Objectives:
Identify the need for intensive targeted education to the MSM population on the prevalence, risk factors, and consequences of HPV disease in order to improve HPV vaccine acceptance.

Keywords: Adult Health, Immunizations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Have been involved in the teaching, planning, coordination and organization of clinical educational programs for practicing OB/GYN physicians for the last 35 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Merck Vaccine Vaccines Speaker's bureau and teaching engagements
Sanofi-Pasteur Vaccines Speaker's bureau and teaching engagements
Digene Molecular testing Speaker's bureau and teaching engagements

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.