Human Papillomavirus Infection and Vaccination in Males

Eugenio Ventimiglia, Simon Horenblas, Asif Muneer, Andrea Salonia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Context Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the commonest sexually transmitted pathogen in humans and is linked to the aetiopathogenesis for both benign and malignant disease in men. Objective To evaluate and summarise the evidence for HPV infection and vaccination in men. Evidence acquisition A search of Medline, PubMed, and Scopus was performed to identify articles published in English within the last 10 yr addressing HPV epidemiology, the natural history of HPV infection and its long-term consequences, and vaccination in men. Relevant studies were then screened, and the data were extracted, analysed, and summarised. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis criteria were applied. Evidence synthesis HPV has an overall prevalence of >20% among men, although a minority of individuals develop external genital lesions (EGLs). The risk of acquiring a new HPV infection is robustly linked to sexual behaviour, with the most commonly infected sites being the prepuce, shaft, glans, corona, and scrotum. Of all cancer cases among men, 2% are attributable to HPV, and up to 50% of penile cancers are estimated to be either directly or indirectly driven by it, with HPV-16 the subtype most frequently isolated. Currently there are two different vaccines approved for men, with a good immunogenic profile and efficacy of up to 80% against EGLs; however, efficacy data regarding malignant lesions are still limited. Conclusions HPV, owing to its high prevalence and harmful consequences for men's health, has recently attracted considerable attention. Novel insights into the natural history of HPV infection, together with the successful development of several efficacious vaccines, have provided valuable tools in the prevention of HPV infections and their related consequences. HPV vaccination appears to be the only reliable method to provide protection against new HPV infections in men. Patient summary Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is very common among sexually active men and can lead to more serious consequences, including cancer. Male vaccination is both a safe and efficacious option preventing both HPV infection and its long-term consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-362
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Urology Focus
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Genital warts
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Infection
  • Penile cancer
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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