Oral HPV rates high among men

A study funded by the National Cancer Institute and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (November, 2017)((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29049523)) found a disproportionately high rate of oral HPV in men.

Overall incidence of HPV was found to be over 3.5x higher in men than it is in women. High risk oral HPV was found over 5x more common in men and oral HPV16 was 6 times more common in men (1.8%) than women (0.3%). For men who reported more than 2 same sex oral partners, the prevalence rate was 22.2%.

High risk groups included “black participants, those who smoked over 20 cigarettes daily, current marijuana users, and those who reported 16 or more lifetime vaginal or oral sex partners”.((https://www.mdlinx.com/internal-medicine/medical-news-article/2017/10/20/genital-human-papillomavirus-infection/7477033/))

Study sample included adults (18-69) from 2011 to 2014. Participants were physically tested (oral rinse, penile or vaginal swab) and sexual activity was self report.


So what? …

HPV is a leading cause of some cancers including oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) (neck and throat cancer). The incidence of OPSCC has increased almost 3% annually in men (2002-2012) while only up 0.57% in women. OPSCC in men is now more common than cervical cancer in women.

Should there be a stronger push for HPV vaccines in men?


K. Sonawane, R. Suk, E. Y. Chiao, J. Chhatwal, P. Qiu, T. Wilkin, A. G. Nyitray, A. G. Sikora, and A. A. Deshmukh. 2017. “Oral Human Papillomavirus Infection: Differences in Prevalence Between Sexes and Concordance With Genital Human Papillomavirus Infection, NHANES 2011 to 2014.” Ann Intern Med, 167, 10, Pp. 714-724.


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