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Study Finds Men More Likely Than Women to Have HPV 16

Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been found to be more prevalent in men than women.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been found to be more prevalent in men than women. What’s more, men are more likely to have HPV 16 — the highest-risk, cancer-causing strain — according to a paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study, “Oral Human Papillomavirus Infection: Differences in Prevalence Between Sexes and Concordance With Genital Human Papillomavirus Infection, NHANES 2011 to 2014,” can help guide future oropharyngeal cancer prevention efforts.

Researchers based their analysis on 4493 men and 4641 women ages 18 to 69 who participated in the 2011 and 2014 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey that involved oral rinse, penile and vaginal swab specimens. The study found one in nine U.S. men are infected with HPV, with overall prevalence of oral HPV infection higher in men (11.5%) compared to women (3.2%). The HPV 16 strain was six times more common in men (7.3%) than women (1.4%). Among individuals with same-sex partners, high-risk HPV infections were more common in men (12.7%) than women (3.6%), and that rate climbed to 22.2% in men who had two or more same-sex oral sex partners.

From Decisions in Dentistry. March 2018;4(3):8.

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