Natural history of human papillomavirus and vaccinations in men: A literature review

Benjamin J. Lieblong, Brooke E.E. Montgomery, L. Joseph Su, Mayumi Nakagawa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background and aims: Infection with high-risk (HR) genotypes of the human papillomavirus (HPV) is necessary for and causative of almost all cervical cancers and their precursor condition, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. These conditions have been sharply reduced by cervical cytology screening, and a further decrease is expected because of the recent introduction of prophylactic HPV vaccinations. While significant attention has been given to gynecologic HPV disease, men can be affected by HPV-related cancers of the anus, penis, and oropharynx. This literature review aims to address disparities in HPV-related disease in men, and certain HR male subpopulations, compared with women. Discussion: Overall, immunocompetent men are far less likely than women to develop anogenital HPV-related cancers, despite harboring HR HPV infections at anogenital sites. On the other hand, men who have sex with men and men living with human immunodeficiency virus infection are at considerably higher risk of HPV-related disease. Historic rates of prophylactic HPV vaccination in males have trailed those of females due to numerous multilevel factors, although, in recent years, this sex gap in vaccination coverage has been closing. In the absence of routine HPV screening in males, therapeutic vaccinations have emerged as a potential treatment modality for preinvasive neoplasia and are in various phases of clinical testing. Conclusion: Successful reductions in HPV disease morbidity at the population level must acknowledge and target HPV infections in men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere118
JournalHealth Science Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • human papillomavirus
  • men
  • prophylactic vaccination
  • therapeutic vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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