Background Australia introduced a school-based human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program for females aged 12–13 years in 2007, with a three-year catch-up to age 26; and for boys aged 12–13 from 2013, with a two-year catch-up to age 15. This study aimed to compare the prevalence of penile HPV between teenage heterosexual males in cohorts eligible or non-eligible for the school-based male vaccination program.
Methods Between 2014 and 2017, sexually active heterosexual males aged 17–19 were recruited from sexual health centres and community sources across Australia. Males provided a self-collected penile swab for HPV genotypes (Roche Linear Array) and completed a questionnaire. HPV prevalence was compared between males in two periods: 2014–2015 (non-eligible for school-based male vaccination) and 2016–2017 (eligible for school-based male vaccination). Self-reported vaccine doses were confirmed with doses reported to the National HPV Vaccination Program Register.
Results Overall, 152 males were recruited in 2014–2015 and 146 in 2016–2017. Numbers of female sex partners and condom use did not differ between the two periods. Prevalence of quadrivalent vaccine-preventable [4vHPV] genotype (6, 11, 16, 18) was low in both periods (2.6% in 2014–2015 versus 0.7% in 2016–2017; p=0.37). Compared with males recruited in 2014–2015, males in 2016–2017 had a lower prevalence of: any 37 HPV genotype (21.7% versus 11.6%; p=0.02); and any 13 high-risk genotype (15.8% versus 7.5%; p=0.03). Prevalence of low-risk HPV genotypes did not differ between the two periods (p =0.25). Of the males recruited in 2016–2017, 55% had received ≥1 vaccine dose.
Conclusion Prevalence of 4vHPV genotypes among teenage heterosexual males in both cohorts was low, presumably due to herd protection from the female-only vaccination program. The addition of the school-based male vaccination was associated with a lower prevalence of high-risk HPV genotypes other than genotypes 16/18.
Disclosure No significant relationships.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.