243795 Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine acceptability among gay adolescent males

Monday, October 31, 2011: 1:10 PM

Kevin Jones, MEd, MPH , HIV Prevention Research Division, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Baudelio Gutierrez Jr. , Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Drexel School of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA
Anthony Leung , Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Drexel School of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA
Peter Smith , University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Amy Leader, DrPH, MPH , Department of Medical Oncology, Division of Population Science, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Rates of HPV infection are among the highest in gay males, with estimates over 70%. Males ages 9 to 26 are eligible to be vaccinated against HPV. It is important that gay adolescent males are aware of and receptive to vaccination, as they can benefit greatly from it. Gay adolescent males, ages 13-18, were recruited from community settings to complete a baseline survey and attend one of three focus groups. Goals were to assess knowledge and awareness of HPV, as well as and attitudes and intentions toward vaccination. Quantitative analysis consisted primarily of frequency distributions of survey items, while qualitative analysis consisted of iterative rounds of open-coding for thematic trends and concepts in the focus group transcripts. 23 adolescents (74% African American; 21% Hispanic; mean age 17 years; 96% sexually active) participated. From the survey, 83% had heard of HPV and 61% had heard of the vaccine. Only 30% knew that HPV was the most common STI and only 35% knew that it was the primary cause of anogenital warts. During the focus groups, adolescents believed that HPV prevention was important, as risky sexual activity was prevalent among their peers. Chief concerns about the vaccine included side effects, safety, and efficacy. 45% of the teens were undecided about vaccination, 20% were in favor of vaccination, and 35% were against vaccination. Awareness of HPV and the vaccine were high among gay adolescent males. Yet, barriers to vaccination exist and intentions to vaccinate were suboptimal given the amount of reported sexual activity.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Compare rates of HPV infection among gay adolescent males to rates among males and females in other sub-populations 2. Describe the utility of HPV vaccination for gay adolescent males 3. List barriers to vaccination in this population and possible ways to overcome them

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator of the study. I conceptualized the study from start to finish.
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.