Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States. HPV is acknowledged as one of the causes of anal cancer, with a 20-fold increased risk in men who have sex with men (MSM), when compared to age-matched heterosexual men. MSM are at potential high risk of contracting HPV, due to observed prevalence of risk factors such as a high number of sexual partners, rate of partner change, compromised immune system, and age.

Vaccinations classified as HPV4 and HPV9 protect the aforementioned high-risk serotypes. Among MSM studies, few have focused on the needs, perceptions, knowledge, and intentions of young-MSM (Y-MSM) aged 18 to 27 years old pertaining to HPV diagnosis, associated anal cancer risks, and HPV vaccination intentions. To address this significant gap in the literature, we designed a pilot study to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to HPV vaccine and explore the contextual facilitators and barriers to HPV vaccination among Y-MSM, a vulnerable and medically underserved population in the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area. First, we conducted an online survey assessing vaccination intentions and background knowledge among 400 young-MSM living in the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area. Second, we examine the geospatial associations between the accessibility of HPV screening services, HPV diagnosis, and knowledge of anal cancer risks among 100 high-risk black and Hispanic MSM. The preliminary data will inform proactive and responsive methods to identify the needs of young- MSM pertaining to HPV vaccination intent, the prevalence of HPV within the population, and associated anal cancer risks to reduce disparities among at-risk Y- MSM. We will present results from preliminary data analysis and discuss the process of study design and implementation. We will also discuss implications for future research and public health interventions in HPV vaccine uptake among Y-MSM and other disparity populations.

Citation Format: Tyrell Mann-Barnes, Aisha Bhimla, Timmy Lin, Adebola Florish Duro-Aina, Grace Ma. Assessing human papillomavirus vaccination-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors among young men who have sex with men [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR Virtual Conference: Thirteenth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2020 Oct 2-4. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020;29(12 Suppl):Abstract nr PO-275.