Male perceptions of and attitudes toward the Human Papillomavirus vaccine : effective promotional strategies
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The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases among American men and women. When first licensed by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the HPV vaccine was originally only approved for use in females ages 9-26 years. Promotional communications reflected this, using messaging strategies that effectively positioned the vaccine as a “women’s vaccination.” In 2010, the FDA approved the HPV vaccine for use in males ages 9-26, though advertising and marketing of the vaccine for this new population was limited. This study evaluated males’ knowledge of and attitudes toward HPV and the HPV vaccine, as well as message tactics for promotion of the HPV vaccine to male populations. Using an online survey and a convenience sampling technique, this study reached a young, highly educated sample of males within the “catch up” program age range. The results of the study indicated a basic understanding o HPV, but a limited understanding of the health-risks associated with the disease. Communication efforts using fact-based tactics were found to be the most effective at persuading males to seek vaccination.