Journal Articles and Summaries

Increases in HPV vaccination in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men throughout one year in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver

Chambers, Catharine; Deeks, Shelley L.; Sutradhar, Rinku; Cox, Joseph; de Pokomandy, Alexandra; Grennan, Troy; Hart, Trevor A.; Lambert, Gilles; Moore, David M.; Coutlée, François; Grace, Daniel; Grewal, Ramandip; Jollimore, Jody; Lachowsky, Nathan; Nisenbaum, Rosane; Ogilvie, Gina; Sauvageau, Chantal; Tan, Darrell H.S.; Burchell, Ann N.. Vaccine. 2022. Science Direct.

Background: Starting in 2015/16, most Canadian provinces introduced publicly-funded human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programs for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBM) aged ≤ 26 years. We estimated 12-month changes in HPV vaccine coverage among community-recruited GBM from 2017 to 2021 and identified baseline factors associated with vaccine initiation (≥1 dose) or series completion (3 doses) among participants who were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated at baseline.

Methods: We recruited sexually-active GBM aged ≥ 16 years in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, Canada, from 02/2017 to 08/2019 and followed them over a median of 12 months (interquartile range = 12–13 months). We calculated the proportion who initiated vaccination (≥1 dose) or completed the series (3 doses) by 12-month follow-up. Analyses were stratified by city and age-eligibility for the publicly-funded programs at baseline (≤26 years or > 26 years). We used multivariable logistic regression to identify baseline factors associated with self-reported incident vaccine initiation or series completion.

Results: Among 165 unvaccinated participants aged ≤ 26 years at baseline, incident vaccine initiation (≥1 dose) during follow-up was 24.1% in Montreal, 33.3% in Toronto, and 38.9% in Vancouver. Among 1,059 unvaccinated participants aged > 26 years, incident vaccine initiation was 3.4%, 8.9%, and 10.9%, respectively. Higher education and trying to access pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV were associated with incident vaccination among those aged ≤ 26 years, while younger age, residing in Vancouver (vs. Montreal), being diagnosed with anogenital warts, having both government and private extended medical insurance, and being vaccinated against influenza were associated with incident vaccination among those aged > 26 years.

Conclusions: We observed substantial gains in HPV vaccine coverage among young GBM within 5 + years of targeted program implementation, but gaps remain, particularly among older men who are ineligible for publicly-funded programs. Findings suggest the need for expanded public funding or insurance coverage for HPV vaccines.