1 in 9 Men Carry This Cancer-Causing Sexually Transmitted Disease

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And a certain type is becoming more prevalent in guys: A new study finds that nearly 1 in 9 men are infected with oral HPV, which is associated with several types of cancer.

For the study, which was recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers looked at data gathered through oral rinses and penile swabs from 4,493 guys aged 18 to 69. The researchers found that high-risk oral HPV infection, specifically HPV 16, was six times more common in men than women.

HPV infections are so common that almost everyone will carry one type of strain during their lifetime.

About 70 percent of oropharyngeal cancers, commonly known as throat cancers, are caused by HPV, according to the National Cancer Institute. 

In most cases, your body will fight off the virus and clear it from your body in one to two years, but past research has found that men are less likely to clear the oral HPV infection than women.

Some guys are at a higher risk than others, too. Black men, plus guys who smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day, currently use marijuana, and reported 16 or more vaginal or oral sex partners in their lifetime had the greatest chances of a high-risk oral HPV infection, the researchers found. 

Plus, men who had genital HPV were four times more likely to also have an oral infection compared to guys who didn’t have genital HPV, the study found.

But only 11 percent of eligible men have received the HPV vaccine, while only 6 percent of adult men report completing the HPV vaccine series, the JAMA study found.

That’s a problem, since getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself against the cancers caused by HPV. The CDC currently recommends men receive the vaccine through the age of 21, while men who sex with men should extend that to age 26.

My Thoughts?

I have written something on HPV earlier and just like all diseases prevention is better than cure. Practicing safe sex has never been so important since most men would certainly have this virus at one time in their lifetime. 

Limit your amount of sexual partners to help lower your chances of being infected or transmitting the virus. 

I remain your favorite health blogger, Paul Samuel FitnessDoctor

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