Oral Human Papillomavirus More Common in Males, Research Finds
Earlier this week, more research was published about the link between oral sex and mouth and throat cancers, totally wet blanketing the next BJ you give or get- and more research into human papillomavirus (HPV) has revealed that the infection is more common orally in males than females.
Until somewhat recently, human papillomavirus was referred to more often as one of its symptoms, genital warts. But over the past few years, study into the virus has intensified due to the growing body of research linking it to the development of certain cancers in those infected. And new research that is the first of its kind in scale and scope indicates that men are far more likely to develop oral human papillomavirus (HPV) than women. Certain known risk factors- number of sexual partners and whether or not a person smokes cigarettes- were included in the study.
Last year, researchers made a scary discovery- that oral cancers linked to oral HPV had tripled in the past two decades. However, an unknown factor was the number of people carrying the often symptomless virus, and it was determined that around one in 15 Americans is infected with HPV overall. Further, 6.9 percent of Americans were found to be infected with oral human papillomavirus on average. But while those numbers may sound intimidating, the researchers indicated that only one percent of the population is infected with HPV 16, the strain linked to development of oral cancers. And only 10,000 cases of oral cancers linked to HPV are diagnosed at all in the US each year- so while it’s a concern, it’s not at massive epidemic level just yet.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and senior author Dr. Maura Gillison noted that researchers were surprised to find smoking emerge so strongly as a risk factor for HPV. She told the New York Times:
“I didn’t really anticipate smoking being so strong and so clearly independent of sexual behavior as a risk factor,” she said. “There might be something about smoking that’s changing the susceptibility of the epithelium to infection.”
Do the new studies into human papillomavirus (HPV) concern you?