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Human papillomavirus knowledge and vaccine acceptability among a national sample of heterosexual men
  1. Paul L Reiter1,2,
  2. Noel T Brewer1,2,
  3. Jennifer S Smith1,2
  1. 1UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Paul Reiter, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, 323D Rosenau Hall, CB 7440, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7440, USA; preiter{at}


Objectives If approved for use in young males in the United States, prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine may reduce the incidence of HPV-related disease in vaccinated males and their sexual partners. We aimed to characterise heterosexual men's willingness to get HPV vaccine and identify correlates of vaccine acceptability.

Methods Participants were from a national sample of heterosexual men (n=297) aged 18–59 y from the United States who were interviewed in January 2009. We analysed data using multivariate logistic regression.

Results Most men had not heard of HPV prior to the study or had low HPV knowledge (81%; 239/296). Most men had heard of HPV vaccine prior to the study (63%; 186/296) and 37% (109/296) were willing to get HPV vaccine. Men were more willing to get vaccinated if they reported higher perceived likelihood of getting HPV-related disease (OR 1.80, 95% CI 1.02 to 3.17), perceived HPV vaccine effectiveness (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.22 to 2.83) or anticipated regret if they did not get vaccinated and an HPV infection later developed (OR 2.01, 95% CI 1.40 to 2.89). Acceptability was also higher among men who thought (OR 9.02, 95% CI 3.45 to 23.60) or who were unsure (OR 2.67, 95% CI 1.30 to 5.47) if their doctor would recommend they get HPV vaccine if licenced for males.

Conclusions Men had low HPV knowledge and were moderately willing to get HPV vaccine. These findings underscore the need for HPV educational efforts for men and provide insight into some of the factors that may affect the HPV vaccination decision making process among men.

  • HPV
  • vaccination
  • men
  • heterosexuals

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  • Funding American Cancer Society (MSRG-06-259-01-CPPB), the National Cancer Institute (R25 CA57726) and the Investigator-Initiated Studies Program of Merck & Co, Inc.

  • Competing interests A research grant to Noel Brewer, PhD (PI) from Merck & Co., Inc. funded the study. Merck & Co., Inc. played no role in the study design, planning, implementation, analysis, or reporting of the findings. Jennifer S. Smith has received research grants, honoraria and consulting fees during the last four years from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and worked collaboratively on a research grant from Merck & Co., Inc.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the the Institutional Review Board at the University of North Carolina.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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