Administering the HPV Vaccine to People Living with HIV: Providers’ Perspectives

Alexis Koskan, Stephanie A. Brennhofer, Deborah Helitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

HIV-positive patients suffer disproportionate burden of anal cancer, a disease which is primarily caused by persistent infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) and is potentially preventable with the completion of the HPV vaccine series. Past research qualitatively explored HIV-positive patients’ perspectives about the HPV vaccine. However, little is known about their healthcare practitioners’ vaccine recommendation behaviors, the strongest influence on vaccine uptake. This study reports on in-depth interviews conducted with 25 healthcare practitioners who provide care for HIV-positive patients. Qualitative themes that emerged from the study included clinicians’ HPV vaccination behaviors, HIV patient’s willingness to get the HPV vaccine, the role of HIV-positive patients’ immune functioning in terms of timing of HPV vaccine administration, and vaccinating HIV-positive patients over age 26. The majority of providers offered the vaccine at their healthcare facility. Participants varied in their opinions related to the importance of patients’ CD4 count in terms of timing of HPV vaccine administration; some believed that patients’ immune functioning should first be stabilized to receive the most benefit from the vaccine series. They also differed in the perceived benefit of offering the vaccine to patients over age 26. In light of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent approval to extend HPV vaccination to adults up to age 45 years, more HIV-positive adults may benefit by receiving this vaccine series. Future efforts should ensure that providers regularly promote the HPV vaccine to their adult HIV-positive patients. Vaccinating HIV-positive patients may help reduce the burden of HPV-related cancers, particularly anal cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-362
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Primary Prevention
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

Keywords

  • Anal cancer
  • Healthcare practitioners
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Qualitative research
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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