According to the recent study, men are at elevated risk for oral HPV (human papillomavirus) infection if their female sex partners have oral and/or genital HPV infections. The study is published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention on 12th Nov. Also, the study is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and Merck & Co. (maker of Gardasil).
The study authors reveal that HPV transmission occurs through both oral-oral and oral-genital routes.
Eduardo Franco, the lead author 0f the study stated in the news release from the American Association for Cancer Research, “Actually, HPV is appeared to be the most common sexually transmitted disease and believed to be a major risk factor for some cancers, including cervical, vaginal, vulvar, oropharyngeal (throat/tonsil), anal and penile cancers.
“Knowing the transmission process of HPV is essential as it will help us spot who is most at risk for HPV infection and how we can help them protect themselves and their partners. Our work provides additional evidence that HPV is sexually transmitted to the oral tract through oral-oral and oral-genital contact,” Franco added. He is director of the division of cancer epidemiology and chairman of the department of oncology at McGill University in Montreal.
The researchers checked out 222 men and their female partners for this study and discovered that the overall rate of oral HPV infection among the men was just over 7%. Rates were higher among those who had a female sex partner with an oral HPV infection about 29% and/or genital HPV infection about 11.5% had multiple sex partners about 18% or were smokers about 12%.
The researchers found that, out of 222 men, who participated in the study, 130 had a sex partner with a genital HPV infection.
HPV16 — one of the types, mostly linked with cancer risk — the rate of infection was about 2% among all the men in the study and 6% among the 33 men whose sex partners had genital HPV16 infection.
The study authors said in the news release, “If men frequently perform oral sex with their partner, then there are more chances that they got infected with the type of HPV present in the genitals of that partner.”
As per the report, there were no HPV infections among the 52 men who never smoked, were in single-partner relationships and whose partner was free of oral or genital HPV.
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) said, “There are two HPV vaccines available in the United States — Cervarix and Gardasil. Both vaccines are available for girls, but only Gardasil is available for boys.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests all boys and girls aged 11 and 12 get the three-dose vaccine so that protection is in place before they become sexually active.