Aim: This study aimed to ascertain the attitudes of men who have sex with men (MSM) to the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and to determine the age at which MSM would be willing to ask for the HPV vaccine in relation to their age of sexual debut.
Methods: Of 205 MSM attending the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre between December 2007 and January 2008, 200 (98%) completed the study questionnaire.
Results: The median age of participants was 27 years. Only 30% were aware that there was a vaccine available for protection against infection with certain HPV types. When informed of the increased risk of anal cancer among MSM, 47% of MSM indicated that they would be willing to pay A$450 for the vaccine course. 93.5% indicated that they would be willing to disclose that they were MSM to a health professional in order to obtain the vaccine for free, but not until a median age of 20 years. This was two years after the median age of sexual debut (18 years) and after a median of 15 sexual partners.
Conclusions: MSM in this study were strongly in favour of having the HPV vaccine. If the HPV vaccine is targeted to MSM, the challenge will be for MSM to be vaccinated before they acquire HPV infection.
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