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Study Reveals Alarmingly High Anal HPV Rates in Homosexuals

Update Date: May 09, 2014 02:30 AM EDT

New research reveals that there is a high rate of anal human papillomavirus (HPV) in homosexuals or men who have sex with men.
Researcher from St. James's Hospital in Dublin studied the molecular epidemiology of HPV infection in a group of men who have sex with men. The study involved a sample of 194 HIV-positive and HIV-negative MSM. Researchers said that all participants were older than 18 years old.
Researchers collected samples of anal swabs from all the participants, and used a technique called polymerase chain reaction assay to identify HPV infection.
Study results revealed that the samples of 113 individuals showed traces of HPV DNA. Of these, 42 percent of the participants showed traces of a high-risk (HR) HPV type, according to HealthDay.

Researchers explained that high-risk HPV types 16, 18, and 31 were detected in 27, 16, and 23 percent of samples, respectively.

Furthermore, 17 percent of participants had more than one type of high-risk HPV strand.
Researchers also found that high-risk HPV was more prevalent in participants older than 30 years old. The findings also indicate that HIV-positive individuals were more likely to have any detectable HPV, high-risk HPV 18 or 31, and to be infected with more than one type of HPV.
"Emerging patterns of HPV-related disease strengthen the call for universal vaccination of boys and girls with consideration of catch-up and targeted vaccination of high-risk groups such as MSM and those with HIV infection," lead researcher Corinna Sadlier, M.D., from St. James's Hospital in Dublin, and colleagues wrote in the study.
The findings were published online in the journal HIV Medicine.

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