The discovery that there is causal relationship between HPV female genital infection and cancer of the uterine cervix (Walboomers et al, 1999), led to research efforts for the creation of a vaccine against this specific virus.
What is so unique about HPV vaccine is the fact that is actually the first vaccine against a malignant disease.
14 common questions posed by men related to HPV
1. I am sexually active and I fear that I might have caught HPV. What are the symptoms of HPV infection?
HPV infection gives absolutely no symptom in either men or women.
2. I have developed condylomas. Should have them treated or just leave them?
Malignant condylomas have to be treated; otherwise, they may become larger in size and the virus may be further transmitted. The afflicted cells that may potentially spread the virus must be eradicated.
3. Where have I caught the virus from? From my current or former girlfriend?
The answer to this question would satisfy your curiosity but not your health; anyway, there is no way to learn. HPV infection may very well have been caught years ago before being diagnosed, so any one of past and present sexual partners might be involved……
It should be emphasized that what really matters is not the virus per se, but what the virus actually triggers in the organism. If a person is absolutely asymptomatic, the virus can exist in the body along with other viruses and may even disappear on its own!
4. I presented something on my penis and the Urologist told me to do a biopsy. Could it be a condyloma? Or cancer?
If the clinical examination shows a characteristic condyloma-like lesion, there is no reason either to worry or have a biopsy. If, however, the diagnosis is not clear, then the biopsy is imperative in order to rule out any pre-cancerous or neoplastic lesion.
5. I have visible condylomas on my penis. My best friend, with whom we discuss everything, also had condylomas in the past and had them cauterized. Which of the two of us is more likely to transmit it to our sexual partners?
There is no clear answer. The virus may be transmitted no matter whether the infection is overt or subclinical. What plays the major role is the immune system (defensive organism) of each person and various exogenous parameters.
6. I developed condylomas in the past and had them removed by the Urologist. Is there any point in getting the vaccine now that I have already been infected?
YES, for it has been shown that vaccination reduces the risk of infection recurrence. In countries where a national vaccination campaign has been applied (e.g. Australia), condylomas have almost become extinct.
7. Should also men get vaccinated?
YES. Unfortunately, the vaccine is quite expensive and is not covered by health insurance funds for male use.
8. I’ve been vaccinated. How protected am I now?
According to scientific data, vaccination is estimated to provide protection for about 9 years.
9. How much protection does the condom offer?
The condom reduces the risk of catching the virus. However, all exposed areas, such as scrotum (external pouch containing testicles), pubes (hairy triangular area surrounding the penis), perineum (region between testes and anus) and anus, still remain unprotected!
10. Is the virus transmitted only with sexual contact?
It is mostly transmitted sexually, but not in 100% of cases (it has been detected also in gloves, tools, tobacco etc). It is also argued -but not proven- that it can spread through kissing.
11. My wife went to her Gynaecologist to have the Pap test, and she was diagnosed with HPV. What should we do now?
An HPV-DNA test would be useful to identify the specific HPV type and investigate whether the infection is related to higher-risk oncogenic HPV types or not. There is no need for the man to undergo the test.
12. My wife and I are HPV carriers, having undergone cauterizations and cryopexies in the past. We want to have children. What would you advise us?
There is no reason to worry, for there is absolutely no risk at all! There is no need to abstain from having sexual intercourse until the infection remits. There is no reason for Caesarian section if the woman is HPV-positive and any potential pregnancy will develop normally.
13. I have caught HPV and I am on a therapy recommended by my Urologist. Will my reproductive capacity be affected?
According to so far scientific data, the answer is NO.
14. My Urologist removed some condylomas from my genital organs. Does this mean that I will develop cancer in the genital region later on?
NO. The HPV types causing condylomas are not correlated to cancerous lesions. The types of viruses that are related to cancer are totally different from those causing condylomas!
Get reliable information on the website of the Hellenic Society for the Research & Treatment of HPV