What are the consequences of HPV infection in males?

23 May 2010

Question

Dr. Chris and Co.

I know that cervical cancer is caused by the HPV virus and it is transmitted to the woman by the man during intercourse. Do men get the HPV from women who are infected? Can a man get it from another man? Can a women get it from another woman?

Finally, because men don't have a cervix, does HPV do anything to men?

Answer

We posed this question to Margaret Stanley from the University of Cambridge:

HPV is transmitted from skin to skin. So it's very important to emphasize that you don't have to have full sexual intercourse, penetrative intercourse. Foreplay, kissing is an easy way of transmitting. Now, more men than women get cancer of the anus, the back passage. Men get cancer of the head and neck and it looks as though more men than women get cancer there as well. So yes, there are men who get HPV from women, women who get it from men, men get it from other men if they have sex with them, and it's the same for women with women.

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