The authors assessed US physicians' attitudes and perceptions regarding potential human papillomavirus vaccination of males in a random sample of 2,714 pediatricians and family practitioners identified in administrative claims of a US health plan as HPV vaccinators of females.
Of the 595 pediatricians and 499 family practitioners who participated, most said they would recommend HPV vaccination to males ages 11-12 (63.9 percent), 13-18 (93.4 percent), and 19-26 (92.7 percent) years. Physicians agreed that males should be vaccinated to prevent transmission of genital and anal warts (52.9 percent strongly, 36.0 percent somewhat) and to protect females from cervical cancer (75.3 percent strongly, 20.8 percent somewhat). Respondents agreed that an HPV vaccine recommendation for males would increase opportunities to discuss sexual health with adolescent male patients (58.7 percent strongly and 35.3 percent somewhat). Most did not strongly agree (15.4 percent strongly, vs. 45.4 percent somewhat) that parents of adolescent males would be interested in HPV vaccination for males, that a gender-neutral HPV vaccine recommendation would boost acceptance by adolescent females and their parents (19.6 percent strongly, 42.0 percent somewhat), or that a gender-neutral recommendation would improve current female vaccination rates (10.4 percent strongly, 26.0 percent somewhat).
"Physicians who currently vaccinate females against HPV supported the concept of vaccinating males for its benefits for both sexes. They agreed that a gender-neutral HPV vaccination recommendation would be appropriate with regard to public health and believed that it would increase opportunities for sexual health discussions, but were less sure that such a recommendation would change patient or parental attitudes toward HPV vaccination or improve current HPV vaccination efforts," the authors concluded.