Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Initiation and Completion Rates of Adult Males: Intersection of Race & Gender
(School of Public Health (UMD) Health Services Administration Master's Student)
Objectives Analyze the initiation and completion rates of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine among U.S. young adult males in 2015. Identify disparities in HPV vaccine uptake by comparing rates among non-Hispanic Whites (NHW), non-Hispanic Blacks (NHB) and Hispanics Background The human papillomavirus (HPV) is associated with a variety of cancers, such as cancer of the cervix, anus, and oropharynx. HPV is preventable through the completion of the HPV vaccination series, which was recommended for females ages 9 to 26 years in 2006. Racial disparities in HPV vaccination initiation and completion of females have been heavily researched. Compared to NHW women, NHB and Hispanic women have reduced odds of initiating and completing the HPV vaccination series. The HPV vaccination was not routinely recommended for males until 2011. Minimal research has been conducted on HPV vaccination uptake among males. This is critical because they are equally susceptible to HPV, and there is no male HPV screening tool. This study is one of few to analyze racial disparities in adult male HPV vaccination initiation and completion rates using nationally representative data. Approach By conducting a multivariate logistic regression on the 2015 National Health Interview Survey, the initiation and completion rates of the HPV vaccination was analyzed among males (n=2,375) ages 18 to 30 years. Findings Overall, 9.88% of the sample initiated the HPV vaccination. Among those who initiated, 40.5% completed the vaccination. We found no statistical evidence that NHB and Hispanic males had different HPV initiation rates compared to NHW males. Hispanic males (OR=3.1540, p=0.039) had increased odds of completing the series if they initiated, but NHB males had completion rates that were statistically indistinguishable from NHW males. Conclusion/Public Health Significance Unlike previous research that has shown racial disparities in HPV vaccine initiation and completion rates for females, we found little statistical differences between racial groups for males. However, all racial groups expressed low male vaccination rates. Unvaccinated males increase the risk of avoidable cancers for the entire sexually active population. Our results suggest a need for improved outreach and policy efforts that are specific to males across racial groups.
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