Oral HPV infection more likely in men
An Australian expert says the finding adds weight to calls for HPV vaccination of boys.
A representative sample of 5500 people aged 14–69 in the US showed an overall prevalence of oral HPV infection of 6.9%.
This leaned heavily towards men, with 10.1% showing signs of the infection compared to 3.6% in women.
HPV type 16 – found in 90% of HPV-related mouth and neck cancers – was the strain most commonly detected.
"Oral HPV infection is the cause of a subset of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas [OSCC],” the authors said.
“At least 90% of HPV-positive OSCC are caused by high-risk HPV type 16, and oral infection confers an approximate 50-fold increase in risk for HPV-positive OSCC.”
The authors said the effectiveness of existing HPV-targeting vaccines against oral HPV infection was unknown and trials were needed to “inform ongoing discussions regarding the