Accuracy of Self-reported Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Status among Gay and Bisexual Adolescent Males: Cross-sectional Study

Eric P.F. Chow, Christopher K. Fairley, Rebecca Wigan, Jane S. Hocking, Suzanne M. Garland, Alyssa M. Cornall, Sepehr N. Tabrizi, Marcus Y. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Men who have sex with men are a risk group for anal human papillomavirus (HPV) and anal cancer. Australia introduced a universal school-based HPV vaccination program in 2013. Self-reported HPV vaccination status has been widely used in clinical and research settings, but its accuracy is understudied. Objective: We aimed to examine the accuracy of self-reported HPV vaccination status among gay and bisexual adolescent males. Methods: We included 192 gay and bisexual males aged 16-20 years from the Human Papillomavirus in Young People Epidemiological Research 2 (HYPER2) study in Melbourne, Australia. All participants had been eligible for the universal school-based HPV vaccination program implemented in 2013 and were asked to self-report their HPV vaccination status. Written informed consent was obtained to verify their HPV vaccination status using records at the National HPV Vaccination Program Register and the Australian Immunisation Register. We calculated the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of self-reported HPV vaccination status. Results: The median age of the 192 males was 19 (IQR 18-20) years. There were 128 males (67%) who had HPV vaccination records documented on either registry. Self-reported HPV vaccination had a sensitivity of 47.7% (95% CI 38.8%-56.7%; 61/128), a specificity of 85.9% (95% CI 75.0%-93.4%; 55/64), a positive predictive value of 87.1% (95% CI 77.0%-93.9%; 61/70), and a negative predictive value of 45.1% (95% CI 36.1%-54.3%; 55/122). Conclusions: Self-reported HPV vaccination status among Australian gay and bisexual adolescent males underestimates actual vaccination and may be inaccurate for clinical and research purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere32407
Number of pages6
JournalJMIR Public Health and Surveillance
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Accuracy
  • Bisexual adolescents
  • Bisexual men
  • HPV vaccination
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Immunisation
  • Immunization
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Public health
  • Self-reported
  • Vaccination

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