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Men and HPV

HPV has numerous types. Some types, such as HPV 6 or 11 are more frequently associated with warts (common warts, plantar warts, flat warts, and anogenital warts). Other types such as HPV 16 or 18 are more frequently associated with cervical dysplasia. In men, genital warts are the most frequent clinical manifestation of HPV and are quite readily visible to the naked eye. Warts can cause considerable discomfort, irritation, and bleeding. HPV is only rarely associated with any type of cancerous lesion in men. Anogenital warts generally occur on the penis or anal region.

J Infect Dis 2003 Apr 1;187(7):1064-70. Epub 2003 Mar 07:

Human papillomavirus infection in men attending a sexually transmitted disease clinic.

Baldwin SB, Wallace DR, Papenfuss MR, Abrahamsen M, Vaught LC, Kornegay JR, Hallum JA, Redmond SA, Giuliano AR. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Arizona, 1515 N. Campbell Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA.

“Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main etiologic agent of anogenital cancers, including cervical cancer, but little is known about the type-specific prevalence of HPV in men. Participants were men aged 18-70 years attending a sexually transmitted disease clinic. Penile skin swabs were assessed for HPV DNA using polymerase chain reaction with reverse line-blot genotyping. Of 436 swabs collected, 90.1% yielded sufficient DNA for HPV analysis. Men with inadequate swab samples were significantly more likely to be white and circumcised than men with adequate swab samples.

The prevalence of HPV was 28.2%. Oncogenic HPV types were found in 12.0% of participants, nononcogenic types were found in 14.8% of participants, multiple types were found in 6.1% of participants, and unknown types were found in 5.9% of participants. The most prevalent subtypes were nononcogenic 6, 53, and 84. HPV positivity was not associated with age. These results indicate that HPV infection among men at high risk is common but that characteristics of male HPV infection may differ from those of female infection.”

The diagnosis of genital warts in men usually requires (1) a visible characteristic wart, (2) a biopsy of a non-characteristic wart, or (3) a Digene test of a biopsy specimen or a penile urethral or skin swab. A urologist is the proper specialist to examine men for genital warts. Cryotherapy and Aldara cream are the most commonly used traditional treatments for men; however, some alternative therapies may be as effective.

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Cervical Dysplasia
Genital Warts
Plantar Warts
Genital Herpes
Oral Herpes
Other Conditions

Dr. Joe Glickman, Jr., M.D.

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