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Gay Men, HPV and Anal Cancer

Human Papillomavirus


The Center for Disease Control pegs HPV (or the human papillomavirus) as the most common STD in the States with over 6.2 million people infected each year. HPV can cause cervical and anal cancer. Prevention efforts have been primarily focused on young women and the link between HPV and cervical cancer. However, men who come into contact with HPV risk the development of anal cancer.

According to a gay.com report, there is an annual rate of approximately 35 cases of anal cancer per 100,000. The figure doubles in people living with HIV.

So, how is HPV contracted?

Cancer expert Lisa Fayed says, "No penetration is needed to contract the virus. It is transmitted through sexual skin to skin contact. Examples would be genital to genital contact, touching your own genitals then someone else, sharing sex toys, and oral sex (rarely). Condoms provide very limited protection because there are parts of the genitals that remain exposed when they are worn. But, studies do show that condoms do provide some protection."

HPV Frequently Asked Questions:
Can men get HPV?
How do you get HPV?
What are the symptoms of HPV?
What is the HPV Vaccine?
What does HPV look like?
More HPV Facts
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