Genital human papillomavirus has infected 1 in 3 men

He genital human papillomavirus (HPV) It affects both men and women. And while it is often associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer in women, the truth is that it can cause health problems in men as well. Thus, in males, HPV infection tends to manifest clinically as anogenital warts, which cause significant morbidity and increase HPV transmission rates. HPV infections are also associated with cancers of the penis, anus, and oropharynx, which are commonly associated with HPV type 16. The International Agency for Research on Cancer estimated that in 2018 there were about 69,400 cases of cancer in men caused by HPV. HPV.

The epidemiology of human papillomavirus (HPV) in women is well documented, however less is known about the epidemiology of HPV in men. Now, a new study has been published in The Lancet Global Health showing that nearly one in three men over the age of 15 are infected with at least one type of genital human papillomavirus (HPV)and one in five are infected with one or more of the HPV types known to be high-risk or cancer-causing.

As pointed out by the WHO, these estimates show that men frequently harbor genital HPV infections and emphasize the importance of incorporating men into efforts to control HPV infection and reduce the incidence of HPV-related diseases in both men and women. in women.

The systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the prevalence of genital HPV infection in the general male population based on studies published between 1995 and 2022. The pooled overall prevalence was 31% for any HPV and 21% for high-risk HPVs. HPV-16 was the most prevalent HPV genotype (5%), followed by HPV-6 (4%).

Higher prevalence of HPV in young men

The HPV prevalence was high in young adults, peaking between the ages of 25 and 29, and remained high until at least age 50 or declined slightly thereafter. Prevalence in the 15-19 age group was also high, suggesting that young men are rapidly becoming infected after first sexual activity. These estimates are consistent with the hypothesis that sexually active men, regardless of age, are at risk for HPV-related morbidity and are a reservoir of sexually transmitted HPV infection.

Pooled prevalence estimates were similar for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal geographic regions of Europe and North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Australia and New Zealand (Oceania). Estimates for East and South-East Asia were half those for the other regions.

Most HPV infections in men and women are asymptomatic but can cause long-term sequelae and mortality. Each year, more than 340,000 women die from cervical cancer.

“This global study on the prevalence of genital HPV infection among men confirms how widespread HPV infection is “HPV infection with high-risk HPV types can cause genital warts and oral, penile, and anal cancer in males.” men,” said Dr. Meg Doherty, director of WHO’s Global Programs on HIV, Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections.

“We must continue to look for opportunities to prevent HPV infection and reduce the incidence of HPV-related diseases in both men and women.”


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