Introduction: In 2009, girls-only HPV16/18 vaccination was introduced in the Netherlands which has achieved 46-61% uptake. Heterosexual men have benefitted from herd protection, but it is unknown whether men who have sex with men (MSM) also benefit from herd effects of the girls-only HPV16/18 vaccination program. Because MSM bear a high HPV-related disease burden, countries might consider targeted vaccination for MSM. To study possible herd effects and prior HPV exposure at a potential moment of vaccination, we assessed trends in the HPV prevalence and proportions (sero)negative for the various vaccine types among young MSM visiting sexual health centers (SHCs).
Methods: We used data from MSM included in PASSYON study years 2009-2017. In this biennial cross-sectional study among visitors of SHCs aged 16-24 years, MSM provided a penile and anal swab for HPV DNA testing (including vaccine types HPV6/11/16/18/31/33/45/52/58) and blood for HPV antibody testing (HPV16/18/31/33/45/52/58).
Results: In total 575 MSM were included, with a median of 22 years of age and 15 lifetime sex partners and 3.5% HIV positive. Trends in penile or anal HPV prevalence during 2009-2017 were statistically non-significant for all vaccine types. Of the 455 MSM with a penile and anal swab, 360 (79%), 283 (62%) and 242 (53%) were HPV DNA negative at both anatomical sites for HPV16/18, HPV6/11/16/18 and HPV6/11/16/18/31/33/45/52/58 respectively. Among MSM who were HPV16/18 and HPV16/18/31/33/45/52/58 DNA negative and were tested for serology (n = 335 and 279 respectively), 82% and 71% were also seronegative for the respective types.
Discussion: There were no significant declines in the HPV prevalence among MSM up to eight years after introduction of girls-only HPV16/18 vaccination, indicating that MSM are unlikely to benefit largely from herd effects from girls-only vaccination. Most MSM were vaccine-type DNA negative and seronegative, suggesting that vaccination of young MSM visiting SHCs could still be beneficial. (C) 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Herd protection
- Men who have sex with men (MSM)
- Targeted vaccination
- HUMAN-PAPILLOMAVIRUS VACCINATION
- ANAL HUMAN-PAPILLOMAVIRUS
- GENITAL WARTS