1 in 3 Males Have HPV Globally

A recent study reveals that one in five males over 15 have at least one genital human papillomavirus (HPV) type, and almost one in three men have at least one of the so-called high-risk, or oncogenic, HPV varieties.

The World Health Organization (WHO) figures highlight the significance of including males in efforts to prevent HPV infection and lower the prevalence of HPV-related illness in both men and women by demonstrating how commonly men have genital HPV infections.

The most prevalent STI is HPV, which affected approximately 43 million people in 2018. There are several varieties of HPV. Some forms, such as genital warts and cancer, can lead to health issues. Fortunately, HPV vaccines can be successful at preventing aimed types.

One may get HPV by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with a virus carrier. The two forms of sexual activity during which it is most usually dispersed. Additionally, it spreads during sexual activity through close skin-to-skin contact. A person who is HPV positive might still spread the virus to another person even if they don't exhibit any symptoms or indicators.

Based on research released between 1995 and 2022, the systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the prevalence of genital HPV infection in the general male population.

For all HPV, the prevalence was 31%, while for high-risk HPV, it was 21%. The most common HPV genotype was HPV-16, which was followed by HPV-6 (4%). Young individuals had a high prevalence of HPV, which peaked between the ages of 25 and 29 years and then stabilized or slightly reduced.

Eastern and Southeast Asia's estimations were half as high as those for the other areas. Most HPV infections in men and women are asymptomatic but can sometimes have fatal long-term effects. More than 340,000 women lose their lives to cervical cancer every year.

Anogenital warts, which cause considerable morbidity and raise the likelihood of HPV transmission, are the most common clinical manifestation of HPV infection in males.

This global study on the prevalence of genital HPV infection among men confirms how widespread HPV infection is. HPV infection with high-risk HPV types can cause genital warts and oral, penile and anal cancer in men. We must continue to look for opportunities to prevent HPV infection and to reduce the incidence of HPV-related disease in both men and women.

-Director of WHO's Global HIV, Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections Programmes Dr. Meg Doherty

Penile, anal, and oropharyngeal cancers are also connected to HPV infections, which are frequently linked to HPV type 16. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, there were around 69,400 cases of HPV-related cancer in males in 2018.

Although one cannot entirely be safe from HPV, there are certain safety measures to take, such as wearing a condom and getting the HPV vaccine.


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