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Comment & Response
March 2018

Issues of Awareness Related to Human Papillomavirus Infection Positivity Among US Adult Men

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Research, Department of Medicine, Staten Island University Hospital–Northwell Health, Staten Island, New York
JAMA Oncol. 2018;4(3):424. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2017.0490

To the Editor The study by Han and collaborators1 provides important data on genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, on a national level. There is a serious knowledge gap about HPV infection in males compared with females. The data presented in the article highlight that 1 in 4 men aged 18 to 59 years harbors a cancer-causing HPV type, thus serving as an important reservoir for oncogenic HPV infection. The risk of HPV-induced cancer of the penis is low, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting 1168 new cases a year.2 This suggests that while HPV infection in males is common, most cases do not progress to cancer. This is not the case for cervical HPV infection in females, as 10% of infected women will progress to a high-grade cervical lesion within 2 years.3