Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies


Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a collection of between 120-150 viral strains that effect epithelial and mucosal tissue. Infections due to HPV are extremely common and some of the more high-risk strains can lead to severe consequences later in life. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, affecting approximately 75-80% of young adults at some point in their lives, and it is also known to be directly related to several forms of cancer including cervical, vaginal, penile, anal, oral, and oropharyngeal cancer. Vaccination against several high-risk strains of HPV first became available in the U.S. in June of 2006 and has been proven to be effective in creating antibodies against several strains of high-risk HPV, potentially decreasing and preventing more than 30,000 new cases of HPV related cancers each year. Despite this fact, HPV vaccination rates remain low. Although vaccination is recommended for both female and male adolescents, male vaccination rates remain lower than female, likely due to the fact that HPV is most commonly associated with cervical cancer. However; evidence shows that among certain male populations, such as homosexuals, HPV related cancer rates may be as high in males as cervical cancer rates in females, demonstrating the potential impact of HPV vaccination in males. Lack of knowledge, and a perception of a lack of necessity for male vaccination are substantial barriers for achieving targeted vaccination rates. There is evidence demonstrating that proper education, or simply having meaningful conversation with patients, can help to increase patient compliance of receipt of HPV vaccination. Additionally, there is an abundance of unverified information attempting to link HPV vaccination to severe adverse reactions. There is minimal evidence to support such a correlation, but some studies do suggest it. A need for further investigation is warranted.