Results of a prospective study of the incidence and clearance of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections in men showed that about 50% of men in the general population are infected with genital HPV, strengthening the case for vaccinating boys against the virus (Giuliano AR et al. Lancet. 2011;377:932-940).
The study, by researchers from the United States, Brazil, and Mexico, included 1159 men from these countries, aged 18 to 70 years, with no history of HIV infection or cancer. The researchers assessed the men every 6 months for an average of more than 2 years. Incidence of a new genital HPV infection was 38.4 per 1000 person-months. Acquisition of a new HPV infection was strongly associated with sexual behavior, as was the probability of clearing an HPV infection. Median duration of HPV infection was 7.5 months for any HPV infection and 12 months for the cancer-causing HPV-16 strain.