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Human Papillomavirus Prevalence in Males

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted virus that is responsible for more than 90% of cervical cancers. Each year in the United States, approximately 100,000 people are treated for cervical pre-cancerous lesions, 1, 000 people are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 4,000 die of cervical cancer.

HPV infection also causes more than 90% of cervical and anal cancers, 70% of vulva and vagina cancers, 60% of penile cancers, and 65% of oropharyngeal cancers. 

More than 450 genotypes of HPV have been identified but virtually all cervical cancers contain at least 1 of 13 carcinogenic HPV genotypes: 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, and 68. 

HPV-16 is the most carcinogenic and is associated with more than 60% of cervical cancers, oropharyngeal, and anogenital cancers. The other 12 carcinogenic HPV genotypes are each responsible for 1% to 4% of cancers.

A recent systematic review of 55 studies has documented that almost one-third of males globally are infected with at least 1 type of HPV and one-fifth of males are infected with a high risk type of HPV, including HPV-16. 

HPV prevalence is high among young adult males aged 25 to 29 years and continues to be relatively high through adulthood.

These findings suggest that sexually active males are an important reservoir of HPV infection and emphasize the importance of including them in HPV prevention strategies.


Harris E. One in 5 Males Worldwide Has High-Risk Genital HPV JAMA Network, Published Online: August 30, 2023. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.16108

Bruni L, et al. Global and regional estimates of genital human papillomavirus prevalence among men: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Glob Health 2023; 11: e1345–62. September, 2023 DOI:

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