Association of the Perceived Severity of the Human Papillomavirus with the Preventive intention of HPV Infection in Male Adolescents: A Cross-Sectional Survey perceived severity of the Human Papillomavirus

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Youngji Kim
Hae Won Kim
Seung Eun Kim
Hae Young Ahn
Eun Ju Lee
Jung Lim Lee
Saem Yi Kang
Seo Yun Kim


Adolescent health, Papillomaviridae, Severity, Intention, Sexually transmitted diseases, HPV


Background and Objective:  The human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is usually asymptomatic, may affect both sexes and is easily transmitted. Providing male adolescents with information about HPV prevention before sexually active state is important. This study was designed to gain a better understanding of the perceptions on human papillomavirus (HPV) severity, knowledge on ways to prevent HPV infection, and influencing factors toward preventive measures in male adolescents.

Materials and Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was completed by aged 13-17years students of 6 schools in Seoul and the surrounding metropolitan area from October to December 2014. A total of 615 male adolescents participated in this cross-sectional survey.

Results: Only 58 (9.5%) boys had heard of HPV. They perceived HPV infection as a disease more severe in girls. Perceptions of HPV as an STI in boys (AOR 1.79, 95%CI: 1.00–3.19, p<.05) and a cause of cancer in girls (AOR 2.69, 95%CI: 1.26–5.84, p<.05) were associated with intention to maintain monogamous sexual relationships. Alcohol consumption was associated with intention of postponing sexual intercourse (AOR 0.53, 95%CI: 0.34–0.82, p<.01) and having a sister was associated with intention of being vaccinated against HPV (AOR 1.48, 95%CI: 1.03–2.13, p<.05).

Conclusions: Increasing awareness on the severity of HPV affected the intentions of male adolescents to prevent HPV infection. Efforts should be made to maximize awareness of HPV as a causative agent of cancer and a common STI in both boys and girls. Education materials on the influence of HPV infection and steps to be taken for proactive prevention should be included in school health subjects. Special consideration should be given for preventive vaccination of male adolescents nationwide.

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