Should men be screened for HPV?

In the understanding of many people, infection with HPV is “exclusive” for women. After all, 99% of cervical cancers are related to long-term HPV infection! In fact, many male cancers are associated with HPV infection.

What is HPV?

HPV is called human papillomavirus, is a common reproductive tract infection virus, according to its carcinogenicity, is divided into high-risk and low-risk types. Under normal circumstances, persistent infection of high-risk HPV will lead to cervical cancer, and about 90% of cervical cancers are related to HPV infection. Most cervical cancers are caused by HPV infection, and at least 14 types of HPV have been isolated that can lead to cervical cancer, vaginal cancer, vulvar cancer or penile cancer. High-risk HPV16 or 18 subtypes can be detected in most cervical cancers worldwide, so it is generally believed that HPV16 and HPV18 are the most pathogenic, and HPV16 subtypes are most likely to induce cancer.

Who are the high-risk groups of cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is currently the only cancer with a clear cause: most patients are caused by sexually infected high-risk HPV types. But to be clear, HPV “positive” ≠ cervical cancer. Long-term, persistent high-risk HPV infection increases the risk of cervical precancerous lesions. 

In addition, if there are the following 5 types of situations, which belong to the susceptible group, you should be extra vigilant for cervical cancer:

(1) Premature sexual intercourse and multiple sexual partners.

(2) Premature menarche, multiple pregnancies, and early childbirth.

(3) poor hygiene habits, not cleaning in time before and after sex.

(4) other genital tract virus infections, such as herpes simplex virus, mycoplasma, chlamydia infection.

(5) Women who are in contact with high-risk men (penile cancer, prostate cancer or their ex-wife who have had cervical cancer) are susceptible to cervical cancer.

Should men be screened for HPV?

HPV infection is closely related to men. Globally, the genital HPV infection rate of men is actually higher than that of women!

Many male cancers are associated with HPV infection, such as vulvar cancer, penile cancer, anal cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, genital acuminate, genital warts, etc.

Under normal circumstances, simple HPV virus infection will not show too obvious symptoms on the body of men. Like women, most men do not know that they carry HPV. Due to the particularity of their physiological structure, men are relatively easy to remove, but It is also easier to transmit the virus to female partners.

The World Health Organization has released data showing that 70% of women infected with HPV are infected from male friends. Therefore, the prevention of HPV in men is a self-interested thing.

It is recommended that the following men be tested as soon as possible and regularly screened

1. Have a history of sex

2. The person or sexual partner has a history of HPV infection

3. Having multiple sexual partners

4. Alcoholism/smoking/immune weakened population

5. People infected with HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases

6. MSM population

Post time: Jul-13-2022