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P550 High awareness but low uptake of HPV vaccine among GBMSM in ontario, canada: results from the #iCruise Study
  1. Anna Yeung1,
  2. David Brennan2,
  3. Ramandip Grewal3,
  4. Tsegaye Bekele2,
  5. Maya Kesler2,
  6. Ann Burchell4
  1. 1St. Michael’s Hospital, Centre for Urban Health Solutions, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, Toronto, Canada
  2. 2University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, Toronto, Canada
  3. 3St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada
  4. 4St. Michael’s Hospital, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, Toronto, Canada

Abstract

Background Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) are at higher risk for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and HPV-associated anogenital warts and cancers. In the province of Ontario, a publicly-funded program was introduced in 09/2016 to provide the HPV vaccine at no cost to young gbMSM (≤26 years). We examined men’s experiences with the HPV vaccine.

Methods #iCruise was an Ontario-wide study of gbMSM seeking sexual health information online. Men were recruited through websites and socio-sexual apps from 07/2017-01/2018. Men self-completed online questionnaires including items on HPV awareness and vaccination. We compared younger (≤26) to older (≥26) men using Pearson’s chi-square tests and identified correlates of vaccination and willingness to get vaccinated using Poisson regression; results are reported as age-adjusted prevalence ratios (PR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results 975 participants were aged 14–89 years (34.7% aged ≤26); most had heard of HPV (94.0%) and the vaccine (79.2%). More younger men (25.5%) versus older men (14.3%; p<0.001) had received 1+ doses. Vaccine initiation was associated with age (≤26:PR=1.79;CI:1.02–1.14; p<0.001), being out to a doctor (PR=2.65;CI:1.88–3.75; p<0.001), living in Toronto (PR=1.53;CI:1.18–2.00; p<0.001 compared to elsewhere), identifying as gay (PR=2.46;CI:1.45–4.16; p=0.001) and having more than a high school education (PR=1.74;CI:1.09–2.78; p=0.019). Vaccine initiation was not associated with ethnicity, income, or having an HIV/STI test in the past year. Most men were willing to get the vaccine if it were free (79.6%) but fewer (9.4%) were willing if they had to pay out-of-pocket costs.

Conclusion Approximately one year since launching the publicly-funded program, more younger than older men had received it, reflecting vaccine availability at no cost. Nevertheless, 75% of younger men were not yet vaccinated, suggesting a need for improved awareness of the public program among patients and providers alike, and ensuring accessibility in non-stigmatizing and welcoming healthcare environments.

Disclosure No significant relationships.

  • prevention
  • intervention and treatment
  • gay bisexual and other men who have sex with men
  • HPV

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