HPV Virus in Men

HPV Virus (Genital Warts ) in Men Introduction

Much of the information about HPV virus (human papillomavirus) centers on women, since having the virus increases their risk of getting cervical cancer. But HPV virus in men can cause health problems, too. So it's important for men to understand how to reduce the risks of HPV infection.

It can increase a man's risk of getting genital cancers, although these cancers are not common. HPV can also cause genital warts in men, just as in women.

More than half of men who are sexually active in the United States will have HPV at some time in their life. Often, a man will clear the virus on his own, with no health problems.

Risks of HPV Virus in Men

Some of the 30 or so types of HPV associated with genital cancers can lead to cancer of the anus or penis in men. Both of these cancer types are rare. In those with a healthy immune system, they are even rarer. About 1,530 men in the U.S. were diagnosed with cancer of the penis in 2006, according to American Cancer Society estimates. About 1,910 men got a diagnosis of anal cancer.

The risk of anal cancer is about 17 times higher in sexually active gay and bisexual men than in men who have sex only with women. Men who have HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) are also at higher risk of getting this cancer.

Other types of HPV virus rarely cause cancer in men, but they do cause genital warts. At a given point in time, about 1% of sexually active men in the U.S. will have genital warts.

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