Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at high risk for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and HPV-related anal cancer. Although a safe and effective vaccine is available to prevent HPV infection, HPV vaccine uptake among young MSM remains low. Purpose: This pilot randomized controlled trial tested the acceptability, feasibility, and preliminary efficacy of a text messaging-based HPV vaccination intervention for young sexual minority men. Methods: In 2018, unvaccinated sexual minority men aged 18-25 years were recruited from Chicago to participate in a 9 month sexual health program called txt2protect. Participants (N = 150) were randomized to the intervention or control condition. Intervention condition messages focused primarily on HPV vaccination, with only a brief mention of other sexual health practices (e.g., condom use and HIV testing), while control condition messages focused on a variety of sexual health practices with only a brief mention of HPV vaccination. Participants received daily text messages for the first 3 weeks and monthly text messages for the remaining ~8 months of the trial. Participants completed surveys at baseline and 3 week and 9 month follow-ups. Results: Participants reported high satisfaction with the intervention. Although trial retention was high (with over 88% completing the 9 month survey), the study fell short of meeting its recruitment goal. HPV vaccine series initiation was significantly higher among intervention participants (19.4%) compared to control participants (6.6%), odds ratio = 3.43, 95% confidence interval: 1.17, 10.08. Conclusions: Findings suggest that txt2protect is an acceptable and potentially promising intervention for increasing HPV vaccine initiation among young sexual minority men.
- Cancer prevention
- Human papillomavirus vaccination
- Men who have sex with men
- Mobile health (mHealth) intervention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health