Background/introduction Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at risk of HPV-associated genital warts and cancers but are unlikely to benefit from female-oriented HPV vaccination.
Aim To examine the attitudes of sexual healthcare professionals (SHCPs) towards HPV vaccination of men in the UK.
Methods An e-survey of SHCPs’ views was conducted in July–August 2014. Members of UK-based professional sexual health associations were invited to participate by direct email and members’ newsletters. Responses to 18 statements, with corresponding Likert scales, were used to examine their views on HPV vaccination.
Results Amongst 325 respondents (46% Doctors, 26% Nurses and 15% Health advisors), 14% are already vaccinating men against HPV and 83% would recommend gender-neutral HPV vaccination. While 64% would also recommend targeting MSM, 18% were against this strategy. Only 44% reported having sufficient knowledge about the use of HPV vaccine for MSM and 49% reported having skills to identify MSM likely to benefit from HPV vaccination. While 19% agreed that it is too late to offer HPV vaccine to sexually active MSM, 53% thought all MSM, regardless of their age, should be offered the vaccine.
Conclusion SHCPs perceived the need to vaccinate MSM against HPV. Despite insufficient knowledge, a gender-neutral HPV vaccination strategy was favoured over targeted HPV vaccination for MSM. Clear advice and guidelines for SHCPs on HPV vaccine use in men at sexual health clinics are required to ensure equitable opportunities for vaccination. If MSM-targeted HPV vaccination is recommended, SHCPs’ attitudes need to be taken into account to achieve optimal uptake.