Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, as well as a cause of various cancers, and a new study published online by JAMA Oncology estimates the overall prevalence of genital HPV infection in men ages 18 to 59.
Male HPV vaccination programs have been available to the public since 2009 and the vaccination rate remains low in the United States.
Jasmine J. Han, M.D., of the Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, N.C., and coauthors used data for 1,868 men from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2013-2014. Samples were self-collected from penile swabs for HPV genotyping testing.
The overall genital HPV infection prevalence was 45.2 percent. In vaccine-eligible men, HPV vaccination coverage was 10.7 percent, according to the article.
The lowest prevalence was 28.9 percent among men 18 to 22, which increased to 46.5 percent in the 23 to 27 age group and then remained high and constant in older age groups, the study reports. The authors suggest the finding may reflect the current practice of giving HPV vaccination to younger male age groups.
The study was cross-sectional, meaning it used data from one specific time and therefore cannot establish causality.
“The overall genital HPV infection prevalence appears to be widespread among all age groups of men and the HPV vaccination coverage is low,” the article concludes.