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Something you may not have known: the human papillomavirus can be carried by men!

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • From over 200,000 homosexual males (or men who have sex with men) found to have contracted a viral infection, 85% carry the human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • The strain of the virus can cause oral cancer, penile cancer and anal cancer in men, and is the same strain which can cause ovarian cancer in women.
  • The HPV virus is found in both males and females, so getting vaccinated against the infection between the ages of 9 and 26 years is a useful method of prevention that can also reduce the spread of the virus by 90-100%.

 

papillomavirus

The HPV virus is found in both men and women

The HPV virus has been all too familiar to plenty of people for many years, because over 90% of ovarian cancer cases are caused by this infection.
During an AIDS study carried out by the Thai Red Cross Society in 2017, it was revealed that among homosexual males who had contracted AIDS or the virus which leads to AIDS, 85% were also found to be carrying HPV. This virus is a cause of oral cancer, penile cancer and anal cancer in men, as well as ovarian cancer in women.

How can men contract this virus?

HPV is usually spread through sexual contact (oral, vaginal or anal), or by coming into direct contact with the virus. There are currently over 150 known strains of HPV, with strains 6 and 11 being responsible for the cause of genital warts, and strains 16 and 18 being capable of causing cancer. The virus takes hold in members of the gender by which it is spread. The campaign therefore, which encourages women to get vaccinated against the virus, seems unfair to some. Males who exhibit high-risk behaviors, such as having unprotected sex with numerous partners or engaging in anal sex, are also at risk. Should those males be found to have contracted HPV, they should seek medical treatment as soon as possible before the virus can transform into a more dangerous condition. Alternatively, they can get vaccinated against HPV to prevent against contracting the virus in the future.

What should men do if they want to undergo HPV screening?

Male HPV screening is similar to the process that women undergo. It involves collecting cells from the penis or anus, testing them in a laboratory and analyzing whether they are at risk of developing into cancer cells or not. Additionally, vaccinating against HPV between the ages of 9 and 26 years can prevent against anal cancer up to 78% of the time, while also reducing the chances of the virus spreading by 90-100% – if HPV has not yet been contracted. However, if that person has already contracted some forms of HPV, the vaccination is still able to prevent against the contraction of some of the virus’s other risks.

Academic references.


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