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Home HPV Research HPV Research HPV Prevalence in Men

HPV Prevalence in Men

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HPV infections are common among men of all ages, according to results of a study published recently in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.

Anna Giuliano, PhD, and colleagues followed 1,160, 18-70 year old men for four years to determine the prevalence of HPV. The subjects were recruited from the U.S., Brazil, and Mexico. Genital samples (from the shaft of the penis, corona, glans, and scrotum) were collected from participants at six-month intervals and tested for HPV DNA. The goal of the research was to see if age and country of residence have any impact on HPV detection rates.  Men are the source of HPV infections in heterosexual women, and the authors say they hope that understanding HPV infections in men will help guide prevention programs and ultimately reduce HPV diseases in both genders.

The overall prevalence of HPV infections among the men was 65.2%. HPV was detected most often in Brazilian subjects (72.3%). Prevalence was similar in subjects from Mexico and the U.S. (61.9% and 61.3%, respectively).

Twelve percent of the men had only “low risk” types of HPV (the types associated with genital warts, but rarely with anogenital cancers), while 21.7% were found to have only “high risk” types. Both “high risk” and “low risk” HPV was detected in nearly 18% of participants. Just over a fourth of the men were found to have multiple HPV types. A substantial number, 14.7%, were positive for an HPV type that couldn’t be classified. 

While age was not a factor in overall HPV prevalence, 18-19 year old men had the lowest rates of HPV detection at roughly 28% (compared to 50.4% in other groups). “Low risk” HPV types were also detected less frequently in younger men.

A. Giuliano et al. The Human Papillomavirus Infection in Men Study: Human Papillomavirus and Type Distribution among Men Residing in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. 2008; 17: 2036-43.