The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol

How Do We Make Sure Gay Men Get Vaccinated for HPV?

September 4, 2013

For young gay men in the U.S., overall prevalence of HPV (human papillomavirus) infection was 70 percent, while the prevalence of HPV 16 and/or HPV 18 -- the two HPV strains most commonly associated with anal cancer -- was 37 percent, according to a new study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. While HPV vaccination is commonly discussed for women, especially as prevention for cervical cancer, the truth about gay men, HPV and anal cancer is becoming clearer with more research.

The study followed 94 gay men in Seattle, between the ages of 16 and 30 years old, for one year. To check for HPV infection, the study participants were given three anal swabs: one at baseline, six months and 12 months. For men who had no infection at baseline, the incidence rate of any new HPV infection was 38.5 per 1000 person-month. Additionally, HPV prevalence increased for men who reported higher numbers of sexual partners.

According to, the authors wrote:

Our findings highlight the need to immunize YMSM [young men who have sex with men] prior to their sexual debut, something that will likely require universal male immunization. At the same time, the fact that most YMSM appeared to remain susceptible to at least some HPV types included in the vaccine, catch-up immunization programs do offer YMSM some benefit.

In the U.S., the HPV vaccine Gardasil is recommended for all males between 11 and 21 years of age, and for gay men up to 26 years old. Given these study results and other research showing higher rates of anal cancer among gay men, the bottom line remains that immunization to HPV before sexual experience is best. In particular, for these study participants, "many (if not most) have been exposed to infection from one of their first few partners," the researchers said.

Have you received HPV vaccination? Have you ever had any experience with HPV? What do you know about HPV? Respond in the comments section below!

Mathew Rodriguez is the editorial project manager for and

Follow Mathew on Twitter: @mathewrodriguez.

Copyright © 2013 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

More From This Resource Center

Undetectable Viral Load and HIV Prevention: What Do Gay and Bi Men Need to Know?

Do HIV-Negative Gay Men Need Condoms if They're on PrEP? Here's What I Tell My Patients

Related Stories

Rectal STIs More Than Double HIV Risk Among Gay Men, Study Suggests
Barebacking, Unbridled: Thoughts From the HIV Community on Unprotected Sex
Questions LGBT People (and Everyone Else) Ought to Ask Their Doctors
More Statistics on Gay Men, HIV/AIDS and Other STDs in the U.S.

This article was provided by TheBody.


Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:


The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our advertising policy.