Human papillomavirus vaccine uptake among young gay and bisexual men who have sex with men with a time-limited targeted vaccination programme through sexual health clinics in Melbourne in 2017

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Objective: In mid-2017, the Victorian Government funded a free time-limited human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination catch-up programme for gay and bisexual men who have sex with men (MSM) aged up to 26 years through sexual health clinics or other immunisation centres. We aimed to examine the uptake of the HPV vaccine among young MSM attending the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC). Methods: MSM aged ≤26 attending MSHC between 27 April 2017 and 31 December 2017 were included in the analysis. HPV vaccine uptake was calculated based on the first consultation of each patient during the period. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to examine the association between vaccine uptake and patient factors. Results: There were 2108 MSM aged ≤26 who attended MSHC over the study period, with 7.6% (n=161) reporting previous HPV vaccination. Of the 1947 eligible men, 1134 (58.2%, 95% CI 56.0% to 60.4%) were offered the vaccine by the clinicians, and 830 men received it on the day. The vaccine coverage among all eligible MSM was 42.6% (95% CI 40.4% to 44.9%; 830 of 1947) and among MSM who were offered the vaccine by the clinicians was 73.2% (95% CI 70.5% to 75.8%; 830 of 1134). Men with a history of genital warts (adjusted OR (aOR)=3.11, 95%CI 1.39 to 6.99) and those who had >4male partners in the last 12 months (aOR=1.38, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.85) were more likely to receive the HPV vaccine on the day. 304 men declined the vaccine; most men did not specify the reason (31.3%, n=95), while 27.3% (n=83) needed time to think. Conclusion: Although vaccine uptake was 73.2% among those offered, the actual coverage of those eligible remained unsatisfactory (42.6%) in a sexual health clinic. This highlights a clinic-based targeted MSM programme may not reach sufficiently high vaccine coverage to provide MSM with the same vaccine benefits as heterosexuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-186
Number of pages6
JournalSexually Transmitted Infections
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • gay men
  • HPV
  • MSM
  • prevention
  • vaccination

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