Incidence and clearance of genital HPV infection in men.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Papillomavirus infections (Research)
Papillomavirus infections (Diagnosis)
Papillomavirus infections (Risk factors)
Men (Health aspects)
Pub Date: 05/01/2011
Publication: Name: Reproductive Health Matters Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers Audience: General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Family and marriage; Health; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 Reproductive Health Matters ISSN: 0968-8080
Issue: Date: May, 2011 Source Volume: 19 Source Issue: 37
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 259077140
Full Text: Human papillomavims causes genital warts and cancers in men. The natural history of HPV infection in men is largely unknown, and information is needed to inform prevention strategies. This study estimated incidence and clearance of type-specific genital HPV infection in men, and assessed associated factors. Men aged 18-70 years, residing in Brazil, Mexico and the USA, who were HIV negative and reported no history of cancer, were recruited from the general population, universities and health care facilities. They were assessed every six months for a median follow-up of 27.5 months. Specimens from the coronal sulcus, glans penis, shaft, and scrotum were obtained for the assessment of HPV genotypes. In 1,159 men, the incidence of a new genital HPV infection was 38.4 per 1,000 person-months. Oncogenic HPV infection was significantly associated with having a high number of lifetime female sexual partners, and a high number of male anal-sexual partners. Median duration of HPV infection was 7.5 months for any HPV and 12.2 months for HPV type 16. Clearance of oncogenic HPV infection decreased in men with a high number of lifetime female partners and in men in Brazil and Mexico compared with men in the USA. Clearance of oncogenic HPV was more rapid with increasing age. (1)

An editorial writes that the differences between the natural histories of male and female HPV infections warrant attention. The data suggest that there are high infection and low disease rates in men and low infection and high disease rates in women. The effectiveness of condom use and safe sex practices to prevent HPV transmission and its consequences remain unconfirmed. HPV vaccination of men will protect not only them from diseases such as anal cancer and genital warts, but will also have implications for their sexual partners, although the cost-benefit ratio of this has yet to be established. The new data should be exploited to elaborate prevention guidance, minimise transmission and aid management and concerns for couples. (2)

(1.) Giuliano AR, Lee J-H, Fulp W, et al. Incidence and clearance of genital human papillomavirus infection in men (HIM): a cohort study. Lancet 2011;377:932-40.

(2.) Monsonego J. Genital infection with HPV in men: research into practice. Lancet 2011 ;377: 881-83.
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