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Risk factors for oral HPV infection among young men who have sex with men — 2 cities, United States, 2012–2014
  • Published Date:
    Oct 2018
  • Source:
    Sex Transm Dis. 45(10):660-665.
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Public Access Version Available on: October 01, 2019 information icon
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  • Description:

    Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at risk for cancers attributable to human papillomavirus (HPV), including oropharyngeal cancer. HPV vaccination is recommended for U.S. MSM through age 26 years. Oral HPV infection is associated with oropharyngeal cancer. We determined oral HPV prevalence and risk factors among young MSM.


    The Young Men’s HPV study enrolled MSM aged 18–26 years from clinics in Chicago and Los Angeles during 2012–2014. Participants self-reported demographics, sexual behaviors, vaccination and HIV status. Self-collected oral rinse specimens were tested for HPV DNA (37 types) by L1-consensus PCR. We calculated adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for risk factors associated with oral HPV among participants not previously vaccinated.


    Oral HPV was detected in 87/922 (9.4%); 9-valent vaccine (9vHPV) types were detected in 37/922 (4.0%). Among HIV-positive participants, 17/88 (19.3%) had oral HPV detected. Oral HPV was more prevalent among those reporting first sex at age ≤18 years (aPR:2.44; CI:1.16–5.12); HIV infection (aPR:1.99; CI:1.14–3.48); >5 sex partners within the past month (aPR:1.93; CI:1.13–3.31); performing oral sex on >5 partners within the last 3 months (aPR:1.87; CI:1.12–3.13); and having >5 male sex partners within the last 3 months (aPR:1.76; CI: 1.08–2.87). Only 454/922 (49.2%) were aware HPV can cause oropharyngeal cancers.


    Many oral HPV infections were with types targeted by vaccination. Oral HPV infections were significantly associated with HIV and sexual behaviors. Fewer than half of participants were aware HPV could cause oropharyngeal cancer.

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