It Turns Out Almost Half Of Men Might Have Genital HPV – BuzzFeed News

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1. In a
terrifying new study, researchers found that
nearly half of adult men have genital HPV

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The study,
published yesterday in JAMA
, was the first
population-based study of genital HPV
infections in adult American men.

They looked at a nationally representative
sample of 1,868 men aged 18-59 as part of the
National Health and Nutrition Examination
Survey, which is conducted by the National
Center for Health statistics of the CDC.

The men were tested for genital HPV infections
in mobile examination centers between 2013-2014
using self-collected penile swabs. The
researchers also collected personal information
like race/ethnicity, education level, sexual
history, and HPV vaccination rates. (They don’t
appear to have controlled for sexual
orientation, so that’s one thing to keep in

ID: 10361180

Overall, 45.2% of men had genital HPV
infections, and 25.1% had at least one
high-risk HPV subtype (the kinds that could
potentially lead to cancer).

Overall, 45.2% of men had genital HPV infections, and 25.1% had at least one high-risk HPV subtype (the kinds that could potentially lead to cancer).

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Dr_microbe / Getty Images

FYI: There are several types of
HPV, or human papillomavirus, some of which
can cause genital warts and others that can
lead to cancer. Research
suggests that HPV infections typically
clear in men between 6-18 months. But some may
persist and lead to certain cancers.

But, good news, there’s an HPV vaccine that
protects against nine types of HPV, including
high-risk subtypes. You can find out more about

ID: 10361374

3. But —
hold on — there’s an HPV test for men?!

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Well, there is, but it’s not available to just
anyone. The test used in this study was similar
to the HPV DNA test that’s approved for women,
and it even told them which subtype the men

But routine HPV testing is not currently
approved or recommended for men by the CDC.
Corresponding study author Dr. Jasmine Han,
chief of gynecologic oncology at the Womack
Army Medical Center, told BuzzFeed Health that
this might be because, unlike our well-known
cervical cancer prevention strategies, there is
currently no prevention strategy for men when
it comes to oropharyngeal (throat) cancer or
other cancers associated with HPV infection in

Basically we would be telling men they have HPV
without any next steps to offer them. Instead,
experts suggest men get vaccinated against HPV
and visit their doctors if they notice any new
symptoms or lesions.

ID: 10362414

Unfortunately, among all men in the study who
were eligible for the HPV vaccine, just 10.7%
of them had actually been vaccinated.

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Per the CDC, the
vaccine is recommended for all kids aged
11-12. It’s also recommended for:
• All women through age 26
• All men through age 21
• All men who have sex with men through age
• All men with immunocompromising conditions
(including HIV) through age 26
• All transgender people through age 26

ID: 10362569

5. HPV
was actually less common in younger men,
probably because they (and/or their partners)
had been vaccinated.

HPV was actually less common in younger men, probably because they (and/or their partners) had been vaccinated.

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The lowest prevalence of HPV infection was in
men aged 18-22 at 28.9%. This age group was
also the most likely to have been vaccinated,
with 22% receiving at least one dose and 48.1%
completing the full series.

Interestingly, the rate of HPV went up in older
men: 46.5% of men aged 23-27 were infected, and
infection rates remained high in older men.
This is the opposite of what we see in
women, where HPV is less common the older you
are. So it’s possible that this research might
lead to a change in vaccine recommendations for
men over age 26, says Han.

ID: 10361431

6. So how
scared should we be that SO MANY MEN are
walking around with HPV infections?

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Well, let’s just say that if you have a male
partner, it’s best to just assume that they
~could~ have HPV. If you haven’t been
vaccinated yet, go ahead and get vaccinated.
And if you have a cervix, make sure you’re
staying on top of your regular cervical cancer

Han says there’s more research to be done to
determine why genital HPV infections are so
common in men — particularly older men — and
what that means for cancer screening in men. It
could be because the antibody response to HPV
in women’s bodies is higher than it is in men’s
bodies, says Han, which may mean more
persistent HPV infections in men.

According to the CDC, the average annual
number of male throat cancers has surpassed the
average annual number of female cervical
cancers. And the CDC also estimates that 72% of
male throat cancers are caused by HPV, while
91% of cervical cancers are caused by it. So
clearly a cancer prevention strategy for men is
much needed.

ID: 10362404

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Tagged:hpv, cancer, hpv in men,
study, male hpv, sex, sexual


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