The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of more than 150 related viruses. Some types of HPV can cause skin warts, genital warts and some can even cause certain types of cancer. HPV can be passed from one person to another by skin-to-skin contact, including oral sex. Additionally, the virus can also be spread by genital contact without sex, although it is pretty uncommon. HPV is a growing concern for men, and here’s why.
Who can contract HPV?
According to the National Cancer Institute, HPV infection is relatively common. Most men and women who have had sex get at least one type of genital HPV at some point in their lives. However, infections are more likely to occur in people who have multiple sex partners. Of particular concern for men in the United States is the rise in cases of head and neck cancers linked to HPV infection.
Fact: One in nine American men is infected with oral HPV.
Can HPV be prevented?
Although it is not known why these types of cancers are increasing, it’s believed to be the result of individuals engaging in sexual activity, including oral sex practices, with more than one partner more frequently than ever before. Limiting the number of sex partners can lower your chance of contracting HPV and using proper protection can also limit your risk of exposure.
HPV vaccines can prevent infection with certain types of HPV, including the types that are related to cancers. Additionally, these vaccines are approved for both females and males.
Dr. James Clark at Charlottesville Medical Research is conducting a clinical trial for healthy male adults who are between 20 and 45 years of age. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the efficacy, safety and the immune response of an HPV vaccine in the prevention of oral persistent HPV infection.
If you are interested in learning more about current and upcoming studies at Charlottesville Medical Research, call (434) 817-2442, or click here.