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Medical News

What Do Gay Men Know About Human Papillomavirus? Australian Gay Men's Knowledge and Experience of Anal Cancer Screening and Human Papillomavirus

April 6, 2007

The researchers undertook the present study to learn the levels of experience and knowledge concerning anal dysplasia, anal Pap smear tests, and human papillomavirus (HPV) among gay men and other men who were homosexually active. The subjects were 384 men who completed a short survey while attending a large gay community event in Melbourne, Australia.

Among the men, 92 percent self-identified as gay and 4.8 percent as bisexual. HIV-positive status was reported by 6.4 percent; 3.5 percent did not know their serostatus. Questions on a range of measures revealed very low knowledge of anal cancer (19 percent scored zero on a 12-point knowledge scale) and of HPV (47 percent scored zero on an eight-point knowledge scale). More than half (55.1 percent) said they had never heard of an anal Pap smear; 44.8 percent had ever heard of HPV; and 56.4 percent did not know whether HPV affected men and/or women.

"The test for anal dysplasia is still largely unknown among Australian gay men and they currently have poor sense of personal susceptibility to the disease," concluded the researchers, who suggested health education strategies to improve knowledge among this population segment.

Back to other news for April 2007

Adapted from:
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
03.01.2007; Vol. 34; No. 3: P. 170-173; Marian K. Pitts, Ph.D.; Christopher Fox, B.Psych., B.A. (Hons.); Jon Willis, Ph.D.; Jonathon Anderson, M.B., Ch.B., F.R.A.C.G.P., M.Sc. (Med.Sci.)

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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