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Am J Mens Health. 2014 Mar;8(2):167-74. doi: 10.1177/1557988313505319. Epub 2013 Oct 1.

Acceptability of HPV vaccine for males and preferences for future education programs among Appalachian residents.

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1The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.


Appalachia is a geographic region with several disparities related to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, yet little is known about acceptability of HPV vaccine for males among Appalachian residents. HPV vaccine acceptability and preferences for future HPV vaccine education programs were examined among residents of Appalachian Ohio. Focus groups and in-depth interviews were conducted with Appalachian Ohio residents between July and October 2011. Participants (n = 102 from 24 focus groups and 5 in-depth interviews) included four key stakeholder groups: health care providers, community leaders, parents with adolescent sons, and young adult men ages 18 to 26 years. Support for vaccinating males against HPV was high among participants, despite low awareness and knowledge about HPV vaccine for males. Participants reported three categories of potential barriers to vaccinating males against HPV: concerns about vaccine safety and side effects, access to care and vaccination logistics, and gender and cultural issues. Participants reported that HPV vaccine was viewed as being only for females in their communities and that receiving the vaccine may be emasculating or embarrassing to males. Participants suggested that future HPV vaccine education programs mainly target parents, include basic information about HPV-related diseases and HPV vaccine (e.g., number of doses, cost), and present the vaccine as having the potential to prevent cancer (as opposed to preventing genital warts). Acceptability of HPV vaccine for males was high among residents of Appalachian Ohio. Future HPV vaccine education programs in Appalachia should address common potential barriers to vaccination and help destigmatize vaccination among males.


Appalachia; HPV; HPV vaccine; males

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