Sexual Health news - Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Oral HPV infection more common in men


While the human papillomavirus (HPV) has been thought of as a disease which largely affects women – possibly due to the discovery that the virus can cause cervical cancer and extensive subsequent research done on the association – a new study suggests that men should be equally concerned.

HPV doesn't appear to hit men below the belt like it does in women, but rather the virus has been shown to commonly infect males' mouth and pharynx.

The study authors, from Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, said that oral HPV affects about 7 percent of men and women between the ages of 14 and 64, but that the prevalence is higher in men. Infection with the virus appears to be linked to higher rates of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), commonly known as mouth or throat cancer.

"The incidence of OSCC has significantly increased over the last three decades in several countries, and HPV has been directly implicated as the underlying cause," the researchers wrote in their report.

Authors of the study said that HPV infection is associated with both vaginal and oral sex.