11 million United States men are infected with oral HPV

Henrietta Strickland
October 17, 2017

A new study revealed that about one out of every nine American men aged 18 to 69 is infected with oral human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease that may lead to cancer.

Genital HPV - which has infected 45% of men and 40% of women - is more common than its oral counterpart but, like oral HPV, the genital virus also causes several kinds of cancer, like anal, penial and vaginal. And infection is most likely for those who have had multiple oral sexual partners, are gay or bisexual, or who also have genital HPV infection, a team of US researchers found. The HPV vaccination is effective for both types.

Yet, in each year within that time span, a type of head and neck cancer called oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma was far more likely to strike men: 12,638 cases diagnosed in men each year, compared with just 3,100 cases in women.

They found that almost 12 percent of men and about 3 percent of women were infected with oral HPV.

CDC recommends for all children in the U.S. to receive the vaccination between the ages of 11 and 12.

Of those cases, 59 percent are women and 41 percent are men.

In 99 percent of cases, cervical cancer is said to occur as a result of a history of infection with high-risk types of HPV. But this theory doesn't always explain why men who have sex with men are at high risk for oral HPV. It was found to be the most prevalent in men from 50 years old to 69 years old. "This is the longest follow-up period we have in relation to the HPV vaccine, and these women were vaccinated around four years before the vaccine was made readily available".

The study, released in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that oral HPV infection rates in the United States are 11.5 percent of men and 3.2 percent of women, translating to 11 million men and only 3.2 million women.

HPV infections overall and high-risk HPV oral infections in particular were "significantly associated" with cigarette and marijuana use, the researchers found. He's a research assistant professor at the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions.

McGhee, who was not involved in the new study, also published recent research on increasing HPV vaccination rates in an effort to eliminate the virus.

Researchers analyzed CDC data to see how many people were reported to have HPV.

It's unclear why men are more likely than women to develop oral HPV infection.

The HPV vaccination is a three-part series to help prevent the virus and the cancers that can develop from it. Based on what she's been reading, "I'm actually thinking it's the same duration for oral cancer as well".

"Fortunately, we have a very effective vaccine", she said.

"We can not take this HPV infection lightly, because it does not discriminate". Other types are associated with cervical cancer.

"We've got to vaccinate young boys, because vaccine has the potential to decrease cancer risk", Deshmukh said.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the USA with an estimated 14 million people infected every year.

"We have methods to screen for cervical cancer; however, we still don't have ways to detect oropharyngeal precancer", Deshmukh said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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