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    HPV infection in men: Prevalence and vaccination coverage

    Genital HPV infection is widespread among men of all ages, but vaccination coverage remains low

    Jasmine J. Han, MDJasmine J. Han, MD John W. Song, MDJohn W. Song, MD Section Editor Steven A. Kaplan, MDSection Editor Steven A. Kaplan, MD
    Dr. Han is with the gynecologic oncology service, department of obstetrics and gynecology, and Dr. Song is with the department of medicine, Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, NC. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy of the U.S. Army Medical Department, Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government. Section Editor Steven A. Kaplan, MD, is professor of urology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and director of benign urologic diseases, Mount Sinai Health System, New York. Follow him on Twitter at @MaleHealthDoc.


    Human papillomavirus (HPV) is estimated to be the most common sexually transmitted infection that is the major cause of anogenital and oropharyngeal cancers in men.1-4 HPV infections can be classified into two categories: low-risk (LR) HPV or high-risk (HR) HPV. LR HPV infection can lead to cutaneous warts, whereas persistent HR HPV infection in a susceptible host can lead to cancer.

    To prevent HPV-associated cancers, prophylactic vaccine was first available in 2006 for women only. In 2009, the FDA approved HPV vaccination for men, and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices provided guidance on HPV vaccination for genital warts prevention only. This guidance was further expanded in 2011 similar to women to the age of 26, to decrease HPV transmission and HPV-associated cancers.5 The age cutoff in men mimicked the vaccination program in women, but this was determined without reliable epidemiologic data on the genital HPV infection prevalence among men.

    Previously, a quadrivalent HPV (4vHPV) vaccine against types 6, 11, 16, and 18 was available. Subsequently, a 9-valent HPV (9vHPV) vaccine received FDA approval for HPV-related cancers that include additional HR HPV types 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58, which would cover 90% of HPV types responsible for cervical cancer.6 Recent epidemiologic data have led the CDC to issue guidelines that only two doses of HPV vaccine are recommended for young adolescents aged to 14 years, instead of the traditional three-shot series.7

    Next: Prevalence of HPV, vaccination rate in men


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