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Gay Men’s Health: Cut Your Risk for Anal Cancer

, by San Francisco AIDS Foundation

GrungeFlagCaduceusCROPHuman papillomavirus (HPV) is an extremely common sexually transmitted infection—and one that has cancer-causing (oncogenic) strains. New research published in the online journal PLoS ONE suggests that gay and bisexual men with HIV have higher rates of anal HPV, both oncogenic and lower-risk viral strains.

The good news? High adherence to antiretroviral therapy, undetectable viral load, not smoking, and other factors helped protect against cancer-causing HPV in this study. To learn more, read the publicly available article online or see Michael Carter’s in-depth summary, excerpted below and available in full at AIDSmap.com.

Put the science to work: For resources on maintaining adherence, getting to undetectable, and quitting smoking, see the “Related Posts” below.

Good adherence to HIV treatment, undetectable viral load, reduce the risk of anal infection with high-risk HPV types for MSM with HIV

Michael Carter

December 11, 2013

Prevalence of anal HPV (human papillomavirus) infection is significantly higher among men with HIV than HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM), investigators from the United States report in PLOS ONE. Overall, men with HIV had higher rates of infections with the HPV types strongly and weakly associated with anal cancer, and also lower risk HPV types. For men with HIV, high levels of adherence to antiretroviral therapy and an undetectable viral load were protective against high-risk HPV types.

“Our analyses support strategies that seek to increase HIV-medication compliance and promote lower HIV-load characteristics among HIV-infected MSM so as to lower risk for most hrHPV [high-risk HPV],” comment the authors.

They describe anal cancer as a “health crisis” for gay, bisexual and other MSM, noting that rates of the malignancy in the US currently exceed those for cervical cancer before the introduction of screening.

HPV-16 and eleven other HPV types are associated with a high-risk of ano-genital cancers (group 1 HPV types) and 13 other HPV types (group 2 HPV types) have a possible or probable association with these malignancies. A number of other HPV types can cause anal warts, but are associated with a low risk of cancer.

Investigators from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study wanted to see if HIV status, age, social and demographic factors, and sexual behaviour were associated with infection with various HPV types….

Click here to read the full summary at AIDSmap.com.


One Response to Gay Men’s Health: Cut Your Risk for Anal Cancer

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