How do Men get HPV?
HPV is passed on through genital contact—most often during vaginal and anal sex. HPV may also be passed on during oral sex. Since HPV usually causes no symptoms, most men and women can get HPV—and pass it on—without realizing it. People can have HPV even if years have passed since they had sex. Even men with only one lifetime sex partner can get HPV. What are the health problems caused by HPV in men?
Most men who get HPV (of any type) never develop any symptoms or health problems. But some types of HPV can cause genital warts. Other types can cause cancers of the penis, anus, or oropharynx (back of the throat, including base of the tongue and tonsils.) The types of HPV that can cause genital warts are not the same as the types that can cause cancer. Note: Anal cancer is not the same as colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is more common than anal cancer, and is not caused by HPV. How common are HPV-related health problems in men?
About 1% of sexually active men in the U.S. have genital warts at any one time. Cancers of the penis, anus and oropharynx are uncommon, and only a subset of these cancers are actually related to HPV. Each year in the U.S. there are about: 400 men who get HPV-related cancer of the penis
1,500 men who get HPV-related cancer of the anus
5,600 men who get cancers of the oropharynx (back of throat), but many of these cancers are related to tobacco and alcohol use, not HPV. Some men are more likely to develop HPV-related diseases than others: Gay and bisexual men (who have sex with other men) are about 17 times more likely to develop anal cancer than men who only have sex with women. Men with weakened immune systems, including those who have HIV, are more likely than other men to develop anal cancer. Men with HIV are also more likely to get severe cases of genital warts that are harder to treat. What are the signs and symptoms?
Most men who get HPV never develop any symptoms or health problems. But for those who do...
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