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Study: Benefit to women not enough to sway men to get HPV vaccine
Date:6/2/2009

ge students into groups and gave one group a self-protection message that focused on the benefits of HPV vaccination for men and the other a partner-protection message that focused on the benefits of HPV vaccination for men and their female partners.

Men were asked to rate, on a scale of 1 to 6, the likelihood that they would get the vaccine, with 1 equaling "very unlikely" and 6 equaling "very likely." There was little difference between the groups, with both expressing only moderate interest in getting the vaccine. Those who received the self-protection message had a mean response of 3.9 on the 6-point scale, while the mean response from the group who got the partner-protection message was 3.8.

Moreover, men who identified themselves as being in a committed relationship also did not indicate a higher degree of interest in the vaccination.

"Now, we have to remember that these were 18-, 19-, 20-year-old male college students, so we have to keep that in mind when considering their idea of a committed relationship," Gerend said. "And if we did this study again, I'd really want to make sure we drilled home the message of the seriousness of HPV for women. I think they got that message, but it might not have been strong enough."

The key point in encouraging women to receive the vaccine is the message about how it reduces their risk of developing cervical cancer. The results of Gerend's study have important implications for how the vaccine for men will be marketed for public acceptance when it becomes available. Efficacy trials in men are ongoing, and the Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve it for use in men as early as this year.

In the meantime, Gerend is working on another study funded by the National Cancer Institute to gauge the best message for encouraging young women to receive the HPV vaccination. The most recent estimates from the CDC, based on 2007 data, suggest that acceptance rates for the HPV vacci
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Contact: Doug Carlson
doug.carlson@med.fsu.edu
850-645-1255
Florida State University
Source:Eurekalert

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