The aim of this study was to assess human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence, knowledge, attitudes, and practices, among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Monrovia, Liberia.Materials and Method
This cross-sectional study was conducted with 107 MSM, aged 18 to 58 years, completing questionnaires and anal HPV screenings. Using peer-educators and direct community involvement, demographics, risk factors, and HPV knowledge data were collected.Results
Forty-eight participants (45%) were HPV positive and 21 participants (19.6%) self-identified as HIV positive. When examining HPV risk factors, 22 participants reported first sexual experience before the age of 15 years. Approximately half of participants (n = 58, 54.2%) have receptive anal sex and 40 (37.4%) reported more than 20 lifetime sexual partners. Eight participants (7.5%) had no formal education and 80 (74.8%) were not formally employed. Two-thirds of participants (64%) had never heard of HPV. Education was not significantly correlated with HPV knowledge. χ2 tests of independence were performed, and the relation between oral and anal sex and HPV knowledge was significant (χ2 (1) = 5.08, p < .05; χ2 (1) = 4.18, p < .05), respectively, such that those who engaged in oral and anal sex had lower levels of HPV knowledge.Conclusions
Among the MSM population, HPV prevalence is high, as are high-risk practices. Participants lack HPV knowledge, independent of educational achievement, and are eager to receive educational information. Future studies should focus on identifying additional risk factors and implementing public health educational interventions.