Researchers from GMHS, St James’ Hospital and Trinity College have made a call out for MSM (men who have sex with men) to take part in an anonymous online survey regarding knowledge and attitudes to HPV infection and vaccination. The information received will help to improve future HPV vaccination programmes and HPV care in Ireland.
With over 200 strains, HPV (Human papillomavirus) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the world. It is thought that 90% of people worldwide will be infected by it throughout their lifetime.
While most HPV infections resolve spontaneously and don’t require treatment, some infections can lead to the development of genital warts and a subtype of HPV infections known as high risk (hr) HPV has been found to lead to the development of certain types of cancer.
More than 80% of anal cancer is caused by infection from HPV, the same virus that is also responsible for most cases of cervical cancer, as well as a significant proportion of head and neck, vulvo-vaginal and penile cancers. Anal cancer is relatively rare in the general population; however, certain groups, such as MSM, and in particular, HIV Positive MSM are more affected. HIV Negative MSM have 10-20 times the risk of developing anal cancer compared to the general population and HIV Positive MSM have more than 50 times the risk.
The study was created in order to understand different risk factors, knowledge and attitudes to HPV infection and vaccination among MSM. To take part in the anonymous survey, please click here or scan the QC code below with your phone.
HPV vaccination was introduced in Ireland in 2010. In September 2018, the vaccine was made freely available to all MSM up to and including 45 years of age. You can get the vaccine at the GUIDE Clinic, St James’ Hospital, the Gay Men’s Health Service and at sexual health clinics countrywide.
For more information, please visit sexualwellbeing.ie.
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