Dr. William Darrow, professor in the department of health promotion and disease prevention at the Florida International University Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, along with Dr. Sharice M. Preston, Stempel College alumna and postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health, recently conducted a cross-sectional survey to assess differences in awareness, knowledge, and attitudes about human papillomavirus (HPV) and vaccination against HPV between men and women.
“Young men in the United States are unfortunately suffering from increased incidence of oropharyngeal cancers caused by HPV infection” said Dr. Preston. “Even worse, many young men do not even know they are at risk. By focusing on improving their attitudes toward getting vaccinated against HPV, hopefully we can change that narrative.”
From 2015 to 2017, 386 diverse undergraduates were recruited from a south Florida university. The study found that the majority (84 percent) of participants had heard of HPV, and 70 percent had favorable attitudes toward vaccination. Yet, only 28 percent of men had received any doses of the HPV vaccine, compared with 55 percent of the study’s women. Only 4 percent of all participants reported being up to date with their HPV vaccine.
HPV knowledge and vaccine uptake remain problematic among young adults, and deficits in both are associated with negative HPV vaccine attitudes. Although the knowledge gap is narrowing, HPV vaccination efforts should prioritize young men, as HPV-related cancer morbidity continues to rise among them.
.Tags: Friday Letter Submission, Publish on February 07