247468 Knowledge and misconceptions of HPV associated outcomes among young men

Monday, October 31, 2011

Summer Bailey, BA , Pediatrics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Nancy DeSousa, MPH , Rollins School of Public Health, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education Department, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Abigail Lees , Pediatrics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Tamera Coyne-Beasley, MD , Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Background: A quadrivalent HPV vaccine (HPV4) was recently licensed for males age 9-26 years. While HPV4 vaccine uptake among females nationwide is <50%, the uptake among males is immeasurably low. A lack of knowledge regarding HPV disease outcomes such as genital warts, and anal, oral and penile cancer in males may explain these low rates. We sought to determine young men's knowledge of HPV infection and outcomes in males.

Methods: Males ages 18-26 were recruited to participate in one of four focus groups and a pre-survey that assessed for knowledge about HPV and HPV associated outcomes in males. A physician then provided information about male HPV disease. Transcripts were analyzed for themes with Atlas TI.

Results: Most young men reported little to no knowledge of male HPV infection or associated outcomes, although several had heard of HPV infection and outcomes, particularly cervical cancer in women. A few participants knew of HPV causing genital warts and that infected males can be asymptomatic. Some participants compared HPV to HIV, with blood transmission and outcomes such as sores. Other misconceptions were that HPV could cause sterility/infertility, impotence and prostate cancer.

Conclusion: The primary misconception was that HPV only affects women. Addressing misconceptions and greater communication regarding male HPV infection and the availability of an HPV4 vaccine for males may be useful in increasing vaccination rates among males.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Environmental health sciences
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
List misconceptions about HPV infection and associated outcomes among young males. Evaluate young men's knowledge of HPV infection in males.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Immunizations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a coauthor on this paper/abstract and was heavily involved in the analysis of the data for the parent study and am aware of the subject matter presented.
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.