Nearly Half of Men Have Genital HPV Infection
Jan 25, 2017 04:47 PM EST
Human papilloma virus (HPV) is known to be the most common sexually transmitted infection in the America. A new study published in JAMA Oncology, confirming the prevalence of this STI, discovered that nearly half of men are infected with HPV.
After assessing the penile swabs collected from 1,868 men, the researchers discovered that 45 percent of them indicated positive for some type of genital HPV infection. A drill-down of 25 percent from these men indicated at least one strain of high-risk HPV.
High-risk strains of HPV can cause many types of cancer, not limited to anus, penis, and even oropharyngeal region (the middle part of the throat) which includes soft palate, tonsils, and tongue. Among women, particularly, HPV can cause cervical cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the human body will clear high-risk HPV infections from the system within one to two years. However, that may be an exception in some cases whereby the infection persists in the body, leading to changes in body cells that eventually progress to cancer.
The study also revealed that only 11 percent of vaccine-induced men have received HPV, while a 6 percent of the sampled male population said they eligibly completed the multi-step HPV vaccine series. Vaccines like Gardasil and Cervarix are highly effective at mitigating the risk of infection, but not many are familiar to these.
Nevertheless, CDC still recommends young men to receive HPV vaccination at the age of 21. More importantly, men who are actively seeking sexual relations with the same sex should receive the vaccine through the age of 26. Safe sex is also highly recommended considering the fact that consistent use of condom has been linked to lower chances of spreading HPV infection.