Human papillomavirus

From IntactiWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STD in the U.S. It is known to cause genital warts, and it has been implicated as the cause of cervical cancer in women.


Two vaccines have recently been developed to prevent HPV acquisition. In the past, circumcision was assumed to prevent the acquisition of HPV, thus reducing the risk of cervical cancer, but this was supported by dubious studies as outlined below.

Circumcision and HPV

The association of HPV transmission with circumcision has been a heavily debated topic for many years. As more recent studies enact more rigorous controls and use larger study groups, the association between circumcision and HPV has become more clear.

A classic 1993 study on HPV came up with the following conclusions: "Uncircumcised men had a lower prevalence of genital warts than circumcised men... The presence of the foreskin may confer non specific protection of the proximal penis from acquisition of HPV infection." [1]

A meta-analysis performed by Dr. Robert S. Van Howe in 2006 found no significant association between circumcision status and HPV infection. "The medical literature does not support the claim that circumcision reduces the risk for genital HPV infection"[2].

Most studies on HPV performed before 2006 had poor controls and relatively small study groups. In order to clear up this confusion, a recent 2008 study on HPV had an enormous study group of almost nine thousand men in the United States. This is currently the largest study on circumcision and HPV ever performed in the U.S. And since the study was performed in the U.S., the results are directly applicable to people who live in the U.S. The study concluded:

"The percentage of circumcised men reporting a diagnosis of genital warts was significantly higher than uncircumcised men, 4.5% (95% CI, 3.6%–5.6%) versus 2.4% (95% CI, 1.5%–4.0%)". [3]

A 2011 study on University of Washington students found no correlation between circumcision and HPV.[4] This study tested for HPV at three sites: the scrotum/shaft skin, the glans, and in urine samples. The authors of this study found that in circumcised men, the scrotum/shaft skin contained was most often the site of HPV infection. The authors also note that many large-scale studies fail to test for HPV on scrotum/shaft skin.

Cure HPV?

In 2019, a Mexican scientist stated to cure HPV[5] but while the research and data are interesting, their work remains unpublished in a peer-reviewed journal. The group does have published data from a small study in 2017.[6]

According to the American National Cancer Institute the drug used in the experiments needs light to get activated. The light is only going 1 cm deep into the tissue. Any infection deeper than that won't get covered by the method. Circumcision is still not doing anything here. To prevent HPV infections, vaccination and safer sex are best options.[6]

See also


  1. REFjournal Cook LS, Koutsky LA, Holmes KK. Clinical presentation of genital warts among circumcised and uncircumcised heterosexual men attending an urban STD clinic. Genitourin Med. August 1993; 69(4): 262-4. PMC.
  2. REFjournal Van Howe RS. Human papillomavirus and circumcision: A meta-analysis. Journal of Infection. May 2007; 54(5): 490-496. Retrieved 18 September 2008.
  3. REFjournal Dinh TH, Sternberg M, Dunne EF, Markowitz LE. Genital Warts Among 18- to 59-Year-Olds in the United States, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2004. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. April 2008; 35(4): 357-360. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  4. REFjournal VanBuskirk K, Winer RL, Hughes JP, Feng Q, Arima Y, Lee SK, Stern ME, O'Reilly SF, Koutsky LA. Circumcision and Acquisition of Human Papillomavirus Infection in Young Men. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. December 2011; 38(12) DOI. Retrieved 2 September 2011. Quote: rates of acquiring clinically relevant HPV types... did not differ significantly by circumcision status
  5. REFweb Ortiz, Alexis (2 June 2019). Mexican scientist cures the Human Papilloma virus, El Universal. Retrieved 24 August 2019. Eva Ramón Gallegos, a researcher from Mexico National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) was able to completely eradicate the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in 29 patients. This scientific achievement was accomplished through photodynamic therapy, a non-invasive technique that seems to be an efficient method to prevent malignant neoplasm, which is the second cause of death among Mexican women. The scientists from the National Biological Sciences School explained that she has studied the effects of photodynamic therapy for 20 years and said she was treated 420 patients in Oaxaca and Veracruz with this method, as well as 29 women in Mexico City.
  6. a b REFweb Antonioli, Alexandra H. (21 February 2019). No, Mexican scientists did not find a cure for HPV. Here’s what you need to know, GMA. Retrieved 24 August 2019. While the research and data are interesting, their work remains unpublished in a peer-reviewed journal. The group does have published data from a small study in 2017. The researchers did not respond to multiple attempts by ABC News to reach them for comment.