Objectives: Genital infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most important risk factor for cervical cancer. The male sexual partner is supposed to be the vector of the infection. However, the knowledge of risk factors for genital HPV DNA in men is limited. The objective of this paper is to study the risk factors for HPV infection in men and to compare them with those found in women, including the study of whether there are different risk profiles for oncogenic and non-oncogenic HPV types.
Methods: From a sexually transmitted diseases (STD) clinic in Denmark, 216 men were consecutively included. A personal interview was done and material for genital HPV DNA detection was obtained with swabs. HPV DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Odds ratios (OR) for HPV as well as for oncogenic and non-oncogenic types separately were computed with a 95% confidence interval (CI) by means of unconditional multiple logistic regresssion.
Results: The most important predictors of any HPV were lifetime number of sex partners (OR = 4.3; 95% CI 1.4 to 13.1 for 25–39 v 1–9 partners), young age, and being uncircumcised. The most important risk factor for oncogenic HPV types was lifetime number of partners, whereas number of partners in the past year and ever having genital warts were risk factors for the non-oncogenic HPV types. Young age predicted risk of both oncogenic and non-oncogenic HPV types.
Conclusions: Most risk factors for HPV DNA detection in men resemble those found in women. As in women, the risk factor profile for the oncogenic HPV types was different from that of the non-oncogenic HPV types.