Department of Pediatrics, Christiana Care Health System, 4745 Ogletown-Stanton Road, MAP 1, Suite 116, Newark, DE 19713, United States; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health, 3215 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States. Electronic address: [Email]
BACKGROUND : Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) are at high risk to contract human papillomavirus (HPV). While an effective vaccination exists, its use among YMSM is markedly lower compared to non-MSM and women. This study compares scaling up HPV vaccination in conjunction with other prevention strategies. METHODS : An agent-based model of urban YMSM (≤26 years of age) reflective of the demography of Philadelphia, PA, simulated for up to ten years of follow-up to examine anal and oral transmission of the HPV genotypes covered in the nonavalent (9v) vaccine: 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58. Starting HPV prevalences ranged from a high of 18% (type 6) to a low of 6% (type 31); overall 65% of individuals carried any HPV genotype. Simulated levels of vaccination were ranged from 0% to 13% (present-day level), 25%, 50%, 80% (Healthy People 2020 target), and 100% in conjunction with condom use and HIV seroadaptive practices. The primary outcome was the relative reduction in HPV infection. RESULTS : Compared to present-day vaccination levels (13%), scaling-up vaccination led to expected declines in 10-year post-simulation HPV prevalence. Anal HPV (any 9v types) declined by 9%, 27%, 46%, and 58% at vaccination levels of 25%, 50%, 80%, and 100%, respectively. Similarly, oral HPV (any 9v types) declined by 11%, 33%, 57%, and 71% across the same levels of vaccine uptake. Comparing the prevention strategies, condoms blocked the greatest number of anal transmissions when vaccination was at or below present-day levels. For oral transmission, vaccination was superior to condom use at all levels of coverage. CONCLUSIONS : Public health HPV preventions strategies should continue to emphasize the complementary roles of condoms and vaccination, especially for preventing oral infection. Improving vaccination coverage will ultimately have the greatest impact on reducing HPV infection among YMSM.