A Qualitative Analysis of Young Sexual Minority Men's Perspectives on Human Papillomavirus Vaccination

Mary A. Gerend*, Krystal Madkins, Shariell Crosby, Aaron K. Korpak, Gregory L. Phillips, Michael Bass, Magda Houlberg, Brian Mustanski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Men who have sex with men (MSM) are affected disproportionately by cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). A safe and effective vaccine is available to prevent HPV infection, yet rates of HPV vaccination among young MSM are low. Guided by the Information, Motivation, and Behavioral Skills model, the purpose of this study was to identify young sexual minority men's perspectives on HPV vaccination. Methods: Men (N = 29) 18-26 years of age, who identified as gay, bisexual, or queer, completed a semistructured interview. Vaccinated (n = 9) and unvaccinated men (n = 20) were interviewed. The interview assessed knowledge, motivation, and behavioral skills related to HPV vaccination as well as relevant contextual factors (e.g., provider recommendation). Interviews were coded for recurring themes. Results: Most participants were aware of HPV and the HPV vaccine; however, misconceptions and knowledge gaps were common with many believing that HPV vaccination was only for women. Motivational factors included perceived advantages (e.g., reducing risk of HPV-related disease) and disadvantages (e.g., stigma) of HPV vaccination, perceived threat of HPV-related disease, and subjective norms for HPV vaccination. Relevant behavioral skills included disclosure of sexual orientation and comfort discussing HPV vaccination. Concerns about vaccine cost, access, and convenience were salient barriers to initiating and completing the series. Encouragement from a health care provider was cited as the primary reason for receiving the HPV vaccine. Conclusion: When developing interventions to increase HPV vaccination among young sexual minority men, it is important to address facilitators and barriers that reflect the unique needs of this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-356
Number of pages7
JournalLGBT Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • HPV
  • human papillomavirus vaccines
  • men who have sex with men
  • psychosocial factors
  • sexual minority
  • young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Urology

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