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OBJECTIVES--To determine the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) types 6, 11, 16 and 18 in foreskin biopsies from patients with balanitis xerotica obliterans (BXO) and other penile conditions. MATERIALS AND METHODS--Foreskin biopsy specimens from 24 patients with penile lesions and 5 control patients were analysed by type-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR). RESULTS--HPV6 or HPV16 were not detected in patients with BXO. HPV6 was detected in 2 controls. CONCLUSIONS--Genital papillomaviruses do not have a strong association with BXO.