201392 Men's knowledge and beliefs about HPV-related diseases

Monday, November 9, 2009

Terence W. Ng , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
Noel T. Brewer, PhD , Health Behavior and Health Education, UNC-Chapel Hill, School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
Paul L. Reiter, PhD , Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Jennifer S. Smith, PhD , Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Annie-Laurie McRee, MPH , Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
BACKGROUND: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection associated with genital warts, anal cancer, and oral cancer. Because gay and bisexual men (GBM) are at high risk for HPV infection and HPV-related cancers, we sought to compare their beliefs and knowledge about HPV and its etiological role in cancer to those of heterosexual men.

METHODS: Data are from a cross-sectional, Internet-based survey of men aged 18-59 years old who self-identified as either gay (n=201), bisexual (n=63), or heterosexual (n=257). The sample was 79% White, 5% Black, and 8% Hispanic.

RESULTS: Most men had heard of HPV, though GBM were more likely to have heard of it than heterosexual men (79% vs 61%, p<.001). Of men who had heard of HPV, more GBM identified HPV as causing genital warts (46% vs 33%, p<.05) and anal cancer (33% vs 14%, p<.001), but not oral cancer (27% vs 20%). A higher proportion of GBM knew HPV can be transmitted sexually (77% vs 63%, p<.05). About half of all men believed that having HIV and AIDS increase the chance of developing genital warts and HPV-related cancers.

CONCLUSIONS: Though GBM are more aware of HPV and HPV-related diseases than heterosexual men, many remain unaware that HPV infection can cause genital warts, oral cancer and anal cancer. Study findings suggest opportunities to educate gay and bisexual men about HPV and HPV-related diseases.

Supported in part by research grants from the Merck IISP program and the ACS.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the relationship of HPV to genital warts, oral cancer and anal cancer. 2. Describe menís beliefs about HPV and HPV-related diseases. 3. Identify differences in these beliefs by sexual orientation.

Keywords: Gay Men, Cancer Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: as a Master's student at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health I am conducting the analysis and writing the paper on these research findings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.