Background: The human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the world's most common sexually transmitted infections, and a causative factor of oropharyngeal, anal, and penile cancers in males. The authors aim to explore young men's attitudes and beliefs in relation to receiving the HPV vaccine and using a condom. Collectively, both behaviors are linked to the prevention of HPV transmission and associated infections with HPV.
Methods: As part of a mixed method, multiphase study, based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB), a qualitative belief elicitation phase was undertaken to identify salient beliefs. The focus of this article will be solely on describing the pertinent findings from the elicitation phase, which was conducted to identify men's attitudes and beliefs toward receiving the HPV vaccine, and using a condom. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews (n = 12) with young males (18-28 years), and analyzed using content analysis.
Results: Receiving the HPV vaccine was mainly perceived as making a positive contribution to one's health. Factors such as cost and having little knowledge of HPV/the HPV vaccine, as well as potential side effects, impeded participants' intent to vaccinate. Participants outlined many disadvantages to condom use. Factors such as embarrassment, not being able to communicate with one's partner, and having little awareness of transmission of sexually transmitted infections presented as barriers toward using a condom throughout an entire sexual experience. Health professionals, friends, and family members accounted for the majority of social influences that contributed to participants' intentions to receive the HPV vaccine, and using a condom.
Conclusion: The findings established that the TPB can be used effectively to discover influential beliefs in relation to young males receiving the HPV vaccine and using a condom effectively. Both of these behaviors are important in the prevention of HPV transmission and infection.