Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection that causes anal, penile, and oropharyngeal cancers in men. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at particularly high risk for HPV infection and HPV-related disease. Human papillomavirus vaccination is currently recommended for all MSM in the United States through age 26 years, yet little is known about HPV vaccine uptake in this population. The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of HPV vaccine uptake and barriers and facilitators to HPV vaccination that may be unique to young MSM.
Methods: Men aged 18 to 26 years (n = 336) were recruited via advertisements placed on a geospatial smartphone dating application designed for MSM. Participants completed an online survey. Correlates of vaccine uptake and provider recommendation for HPV vaccine were identified using logistic regression.
Results: In total, 21% of participants had received at least 1 dose of HPV vaccine. Provider recommendation was the strongest predictor of uptake such that MSM with a recommendation were more than 40 times more likely to have been vaccinated. Additional predictors of uptake included age and HPV vaccine attitudes. Predictors of provider recommendation included sexual identity, race/ethnicity, condomless anal sex, and HIV status. Psychosocial correlates and barriers and facilitators to HPV vaccination among unvaccinated men were also identified.
Conclusions: Findings highlight potential disparities in HPV vaccine uptake, as well as disparities in provider recommendation practices for HPV vaccination. Future interventions should aim to clarify misconceptions, modify psychosocial beliefs, and address barriers and facilitators to HPV vaccine uptake specific to young MSM.