Human papillomavirus knowledge and intent to vaccinate among young college age males

Eric Fenkl, Irina Hughes, Sandra Gracia Jones


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States and globally. The virus has the ability to be transmitted through sexual contact (vaginal, anal, and/or oral sex) and/or genital-to-genital (skin) contact.  HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, and 45  are considered  high risk factors for the development of anal, oral, and penile cancers among the male population.  Unfortunately, there are no widely used screening tests for HPV-related anal, oral or penile cancers.  This has allowed the virus to remain undetected and, as a result, the rate of male mortality to increase. Although the HPV vaccine has been recommended for both females and males 9 through 26 years of age, more females than males have received the vaccination. The purpose of this study was to assess knowledge of HPV, HPV-related disease, and intent to vaccinate among young college age males. Following IRB approval, a sample of 131 male students completed a self-administered, 54-question, paper-and-pencil questionnaire. The findings of this study indicated that a majority of participants had a general knowledge about HPV virus, many of the participants were unaware that HPV could present with no outward associated symptomology, that bleeding or bloody discharge could be a symptom of anal cancer, and  that there is no cure for HPV infection. 60% were unaware of the availability of the HPV vaccine for male, greatly limiting the intent to potentially vaccinate. Healthcare providers should provide young males with information related to HPV infection, HPV-related disease, and vaccination.

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Journal of Epidemiological Research

ISSN 2377-9306(Print)  ISSN 2377-9330(Online)

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