Correlates of human papillomavirus vaccination intent for oropharyngeal cancer prevention among gay and bisexual men living in the United States

Cynthia Stull, Sarah L. Bennis, B. R.Simon Rosser, J. Michael Wilkerson, I. Niles Zoschke, Ziou Jiang, Alan G. Nyitray, Samir S. Khariwala, Michael W. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Gay and bisexual men (GBM) are at increased risk of developing human papillomavirus (HPV)–associated oropharyngeal cancer (OPC). Vaccination may prevent OPC in GBM; however, vaccination rates are low. The authors explored the correlates associated with HPV vaccination intent for OPC prevention among GBM. Methods: The authors conducted a cross-sectional study in which they surveyed 1,700 adult GBM with a profile on 2 online dating sites. Eligibility criteria included self-identified GBM living in the United States, aged 18 through 45 years who had sex with a man in the past 5 years. Factors associated with participants’ HPV vaccination status and intent to vaccinate were assessed via the online questionnaire using the Health Belief Model. Results: Most of the 1,108 eligible GBM had not received 1 dose or more of the HPV vaccine (54.2%), were aged 27 through 37 years (52.3%), were White (58.3%), identified as cisgender men (93.4%), were gay (79.3%), were in a monogamous relationship (99.4%), and had a bachelor's degree (29.4%) or higher college education (26.1%). Among unvaccinated GBM, 25.3% reported intent to receive the vaccine. In the multivariable model, independent associations (P < .05) were found for the Health Belief Model constructs (perceived benefits and perceived barriers) with HPV vaccine intent, after adjusting for all other predictor variables in the model. Conclusions: The benefits of HPV vaccination for the prevention of OPC is associated with intent to vaccinate among GBM. Dental care providers can use this information to educate patients in this high-risk population on prevention of HPV–associated OPC. Practical Implications: Dentists can advocate for HPV vaccination uptake among GBM patients by means of discussing the benefits of vaccination in the prevention of HPV-associated OPC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-38.e1
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 American Dental Association


  • HPV
  • HPV vaccine
  • Oropharyngeal cancer
  • gay and bisexual men
  • human papillomavirus
  • vaccination


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