Human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus associated with cervical cancer, is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world. Though it affects both men and women much of the conversation about HPV relates to women’s health. HPV is also a common risk factor for several other types of cancer that can also affect men, including anal, penile and oropharyngeal cancer. Here are some of the latest facts on HPV and men that we should all know:
- The HPV vaccine, which protects against certain strains of HPV that can help prevent HPV-related cancers, is available to and recommended for boys ages 13 thru 21.
- Some men are more at risk: gay and bisexual men are more likely to develop HPV-associated anal cancer than men who have sex with women.
- There is no common screening test to detect HPV in men.
- Half of men over the age of 15 carry the virus.
- HPV-associated cancers, particularly oral and oropharyngeal, are on the rise.