Age‐Specific Prevalence of Anal Human Papillomavirus Infection in HIV‐Negative Sexually Active Men Who Have Sex with Men: The EXPLORE Study

Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States
The Journal of Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 6). 12/2004; 190(12):2070-6. DOI: 10.1086/425906
Source: PubMed


In the United States, anal cancer in men who have sex with men (MSM) is more common than cervical cancer in women. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is causally linked to the development of anal and cervical cancer. In women, cervical HPV infection peaks early and decreases after the age of 30. Little is known about the age-specific prevalence of anal HPV infection in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative MSM.
We studied the prevalence and determinants of anal HPV infection in 1218 HIV-negative MSM, 18-89 years old, who were recruited from 4 US cities. We assessed anal HPV infection status by polymerase chain reaction.
HPV DNA was found in the anal canal of 57% of study participants. The prevalence of anal HPV infection did not change with age or geographic location. Anal HPV infection was independently associated with receptive anal intercourse (odds ratio [OR], 2.0; P<.0001) during the preceding 6 months and with >5 sex partners during the preceding 6 months (OR, 1.5; P<.0001).
Urban, HIV-negative MSM have a stable, high prevalence of anal HPV infection across all age groups. These results differ substantially from the epidemiologic profile of cervical HPV infection in women. This may reflect differences between these populations with respect to the number of new sex partners after the age of 30 and may explain the high incidence of anal cancer in MSM.

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    • "In many countries HPV prevalence is similar among men and women, with differences dependent on risk factors and methods used to detect infection [1]–[2]. While much of the emphasis in the literature has focused on women and the link between HPV and cervical cancer, evidence is mounting regarding the high prevalence of HPV infection in males, particularly in anogenital sites, and especially in men who have sex with men (MSM) [3]. Studies from developed countries have found a high prevalence of HPV and anal lesions among MSM [3] but data from developing countries are also emerging. "
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies have assessed the epidemiology of HPV infection among MSM, but no qualitative studies have specifically assessed how HPV and genital warts (GW) affect South American men who have sex with men (MSM) and male-to-female transgendered women (TG). This study explored the knowledge, attitudes and experiences of Peruvian MSM and TG regarding HPV and GW. We performed a qualitative study consisting of fifteen in-depth interviews and three focus groups carried out in Lima, Peru with diverse MSM and TG groups, including sex workers. Resulting data were analyzed by applying a systematic comparative and descriptive content analysis. While knowledge of HPV was limited, awareness of GW was common, particularly among TG persons and sex workers. Still, few participants recognized that GW are sexually transmitted, and many had problems differentiating between GW and other STI/anogenital conditions. Stigmatizing experiences were common during sexual encounters with people who had visible GW. Shame, emotional and physical troubles, and embarrassing sexual experiences were reported by individuals with GW. Search for treatment was mediated by peers, but stigma and apparent health services' inability to deal with GW limited the access to effective medical care. In Peru, public health interventions should strengthen services for HPV/GW management and increase accurate knowledge of the transmission, treatment, and sequelae of HPV/GW in MSM and TG populations.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Our study showed that most of the subjects were infected by HPV in the anal canal, with an overall prevalence of 72.5%, which is a higher value compared to other cohorts of HIV-negative MSM [17,18]. The HPV testing methods used may account for differences between these studies. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The incidence of anal cancer, a Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-related neoplasia, has been increasing in recent decades, mainly in men who have sex with men (MSM). Cytological changes of the anal epithelium induced by HPV can be detected through an anal pap smear. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence and epidemiological correlates of anal cytological abnormalities among relatively young MSM at risk for HIV-1 infection, to help clarify whether or not this population deserves further investigation to assess the presence of anal cancer precursor lesions. Methods MSM were recruited among attendees of a large STI clinic for a HIV-1 screening program. Anal samples, collected with a Dracon swab in PreservCyt, were used both for liquid-based cytology and HPV testing by the Linear Array HPV Genotyping Test. Data regarding socio-demographic characteristics and sexual behavior were collected in face-to-face interviews. Results A total of 346 MSM were recruited (median age 32 years). Overall, 72.5% of the individuals had an anal HPV infection, with 56.1% of them being infected by oncogenic HPV genotypes. Anal cytological abnormalities were found in 29.8% of the cases (16.7% ASC-US and 13.1% L-SIL). Presence of ASC-US+ was strongly associated with infection by any HPV type (OR=4.21, 95% CI: 1.97-9.23), and particularly by HPV 16 and/or 18 (OR=5.62, 95% CI: 2.33-13.81). A higher proportion of ASC-US+ was found in older MSM, in those with a higher number of lifetime partners and in those with a history of ano-genital warts. However, none of these variables or the others analyzed showed any significant association with abnormal cytological findings. Conclusions The presence of anal cytological abnormalities in about one third of the recruited MSM and their strong association with HPV infection, in particular that caused by HPV 16 and/or 18, might provide a further complement to the data that now support the introduction of HPV vaccination among MSM to protect them from the development of HPV-associated diseases. Additional studies are needed to determine whether and how screening for anal cancer precursor lesions should be performed in younger MSM.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · BMC Cancer
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    • "HPV infection is highly prevalent in men and even more so in the case of MSM [23-28]. In one study, HPV DNA was found in the anal canal in 57% of HIV-negative MSM, with 26% having high-risk HPV types and 26% having low-risk HPV types; co-infection is frequent [29]. Anal infection with multiple HPV types is associated with receptive anal intercourse and the number of sex partners [29,30]. "
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    ABSTRACT: A recent qualitative study in Denmark showed that genital warts (GWs) can considerably lower the quality of life of heterosexual patients. In this follow-up study, we interviewed men having sex with men (MSM) suffering from GWs to obtain an in-depth understanding of their perception of GWs and determine the extent to which minority (homosexual) cultural issues affect these patients' experiences. Qualitative interviews with six MSM were performed using a semi-structured interview guide. Questions were formulated on the basis of the earlier qualitative study in heterosexual patients with GWs along with a literature review. Data were analysed using a medical anthropological approach. Many MSM worried about being stigmatised and excluded from the small homosexual 'scene', their key social group, thereby lowering their chances of finding sex and love. Most participants had suffered from GWs for several years which added to the negative psycho-sexual and social effects of the disease. Participants' fears of developing anal cancer were similar to those expressed about cervical cancer by females with GWs. Ano-genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is common and has a serious psychological and sexual impact among MSM. However, they do not benefit to the same extent as heterosexual men from the herd immunity effect of HPV vaccination of girls. The pathological profile and concerns specific to MSM should be addressed when communicating with these patients, and should be taken into account when considering HPV vaccination of boys.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · BMC Research Notes
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