Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a precursor to the development of anorectal carcinoma. Studies have indicated that men who have sex with men (MSM) have significantly higher rates of HPV and HIV than their heterosexual counterparts and are at greater risk for anorectal carcinoma. This article presents findings from a descriptive study to assess knowledge of HPV, anorectal carcinoma, and anorectal screening in a sample of MSM in Orlando, FL. The 89 participants demonstrated knowledge deficits. The average score on knowledge items was only 38% correct. Of the 49 participants who had heard of anal Papanicolau (Pap) smears, only 5 (10.2%) discussed screening with a physician, while 8 (16.3%) had discussed it with a nurse, and 16 (32.7%) with another health care professional. Findings support the need for community outreach efforts to promote knowledge and the need for discussion with providers regarding HPV and anorectal carcinoma in this vulnerable population.
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