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J Mens Health. 2011 Oct 1;8(3):175-184.

Human papillomavirus (HPV): college male's knowledge, perceived risk, sources of information, vaccine barriers and communication.



Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection. With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of an indication for the HPV vaccine for males, it is important to assess male college student's HPV knowledge, perceived risk, and sources of information, as well as HPV vaccine barriers and communication.


This was a cross-sectional survey study of 165 male college students. The participants completed a survey about HPV and the HPV vaccine.


Among the 165 participants, most males had poor HPV knowledge, in that 132 (80.0%) reported having had sexual intercourse, but only 20 (12.1%) perceived being at risk for acquiring HPV. Information sources about HPV were commercials/advertisements, friends, news and health education programs. Concern about the HPV vaccine's long-term effects and cost were the most frequently reported barriers. Most students reported having a regular healthcare provider, but had difficulty getting to their provider, and finding time to discuss the HPV vaccine with their provider. Additionally, most students reported relying on their parents when making medical decisions and being willing to discuss the HPV vaccine with their healthcare provider to make an informed decision about the vaccine.


Educational programs providing information about HPV, the HPV vaccine, and communication skills training are needed for male college students, parents, and healthcare providers. Findings from this study will guide the development of HPV vaccine messages and educational programs that should be tested in future research.

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