Guys: Half of You Might Have HPV
New study could be strong case for vaccinating boys
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2011 7:47 AM CST
Human papillomavirus   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – A whopping half of men may be infected with human papillomavirus (HPV), best known for causing cervical cancer, but also a cause of anal, penile, head, and neck cancers. Though the CDC currently recommends a vaccine for females, health officials have so far not recommended one for males. Researchers believe this new statistic strengthens the case for why boys should be vaccinated, Reuters reports.

The study looked at men in the US, Brazil, and Mexico, and found that 50% had genital HPV infections at enrollment. About 6% of men per year will get a new HPV 16 infection—that is the strain known for causing cancer. And, worse, while women can often clear an HPV infection as they get older, men don't seem to have the same ability and have a higher prevalence of the infection throughout their lives. Click for more on the debate over vaccinating boys.