HPV Testing in Men
Much of the information regarding human papillomavirus usually centers on females, since having this particular virus enhances their risk of getting cervical cancer. However, the HPV virus in men causes significant health concerns, too. It is imperative for men to know and understand how to minimize their individual risks of HPV infection.
At least half of men who are sexually active in Singapore will experience HPV at some point in their lifetime. On most occasions, men will clear this particular virus on their own, with no associated health complications.
What is Human Papillomavirus Infection?
There are at least 100 types of HPV, and nearly 40 types are sexually transmitted. Each type of HPV is numbered and subsequently classified as either low or high-risk HPV. In this regard, high-risk HPVs are fairly more aggressive forms of the virus and usually warrant medical attention. They can also potentially cause cell mutations, resulting in cancer. In men, cancers linked to HPV include cancer of the penis or anal cancer.
The risk of anal cancer is nearly 17 times higher in sexually active gay and bisexual men compared to heterosexual men. Men who have HIV are also at a relatively higher risk of getting this type of cancer.
Get an anal pap smear to test for anal cancer today.
Low-risk HPVs can only cause warts and generally produce very little to no other known symptoms. So yes, in this regard, HPV in men can cause genital warts, just as in women. On most occasions, they tend to resolve on their own without any associated long-term effects.
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What are the symptoms of HPV in men?
Most HPV male patients never experience symptoms or even realize they have the infection. If you have an infection that won’t disappear, you may start noticing genital warts on your penis, anus, scrotum or throat. If you realize any unwanted skin changes in these parts of your body, you should immediately schedule a doctor appointment.
How is HPV diagnosed in men in Singapore?
The best way to protect yourself against HPV infection is to ensure you are vaccinated. The latest vaccine for HPV directly offers protection against nine HPV strains also cross-protecting against many other strains.
Bearing in mind that a significant number of HPV-related cancers are only caused by a few strains, the HPV vaccine substantially minimizes your risk of developing any HPV-related cancers by at least 90%!
This is particularly essential for men who engage in intercourse with other men because they are highly likely to get infected with high-risk HPV without their knowledge. This is because on most occasions, there are no symptoms that accompany the infection of HPV – this is why we are providing the HPV testing of the high-risk HPV.
The test for HPV is a highly sensitive and effective test that boasts an effectivity rate of more than 90%. It detects the presence of high-risk HPV thanks to its ability to successfully detect the DNA of the high-risk strains of HPV. With this type of test, the site of testing usually includes the penile region, vaginal area as well as anal and throat regions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Bearing in mind that a significant number of people who become infected with HPV do not exhibit any visible symptoms, it is very likely that could have the virus without your knowledge and you will also likely spread the virus to your sex partners unknowingly. Testing is highly recommended for sexually active females as well as men with male partners.
No, there are no specific preparations needed for HPV testing. During the test, your doctor will only need to use a brush to harvest some cells from the men’s penile region or women’s cervical area, or the anal region of both sexes. For women, you can decide to go for a pap smear test together with the brush test.
This is usually a painless medical procedure because it only involves the use of a brush to extract the needed samples from your body.
No! Whereas the HPV test examines cells for infection with high-risk strains of HPV, the pap smear test involves the collection of cells before examining them for changes caused by HPV.
In Singapore, the prevalence rate of HPV infection is estimated to be around 9.31%. Infection rates are strongly related to penetrative intercourse, low educational level as well as multiple sexual partners.
Yes, human papillomavirus can spread from a woman to a man and vice versa. Simply put, you can contract HPV by having intercourse with an individual infected with the virus.
A HPV test involves the drawing of a sample of cells to establish whether those specific cells are infected with high-risk types of HPV.
Unfortunately, there is no blood or swab test that can detect HPV!