Oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infections were higher among men who had female partners with an oral and/or genital HPV infection, suggesting that the transmission of HPV occurs via oral-oral and oral-genital routes, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
“HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world and is a risk factor for several cancers, including cervical, vaginal, vulvar, oropharyngeal [throat/tonsil], anal, and penile cancers,” said Eduardo L. Franco, DrPH, professor and director of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and chairman of the Department of Oncology at McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal, Canada.
“Understanding how HPV is transmitted is important because it will help us identify who is most at risk for HPV infection and how we can help them protect themselves and their partners,” added Franco. “Our work provides additional evidence that HPV is sexually transmitted to the oral tract through oral-oral and oral-genital contact.”
A research team led by Franco looked at HPV infections in 222 men and their female partners and found that among men in the study, the prevalence of oral HPV was 7.2 percent. These numbers were higher for men who were smokers (12.2 percent), those who were in nonmonogamous relationships (17.9 percent), and those who had a partner with oral HPV infection (28.6 percent) and/or genital HPV infection (11.5 percent).
Of the 222 men included in the analysis, 130 had a partner with a genital HPV infection.
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