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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 May;20(5):990-1002. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-1160. Epub 2011 Mar 4.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) 6, 11, 16, and 18 seroprevalence is associated with sexual practice and age: results from the multinational HPV Infection in Men Study (HIM Study).

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H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612-9416, USA.



Few human papillomavirus (HPV) serology studies have evaluated type-specific seroprevalence of vaccine HPV types in men. This study investigates seroprevalence of HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18, and associated risk factors in men residing in three countries (United States, Mexico, and Brazil).


Data from 1,477 men aged 18 to 70 enrolled in the HPV Infection in Men Study (HIM Study) were analyzed. Serum antibody testing was performed with virus-like particle-based ELISA. Potential risk factors were assessed for individual HPV types by the use of logistic regression.


Overall, HPV-6, 11, 16, and 18 seroprevalence was 14.8%, 17.3%, 11.2%, and 5.8%, respectively. Thirty-four percent of men were seropositive to one or more HPV types. When examined by sexual practice, 31.2% of men who had sex with women, 65.6% of men who had sex with men (MSM), and 59.4% of men who had sex with both men and women (MSMW) were seropositive to one or more HPV types. Seroprevalence increased with age among young-to-middle-aged men with significant upward age trends observed for HPV 11, 16, and 18. Men with multiple lifetime male anal sex partners were 2 to 4 times more likely to be HPV 6 or 11 seropositive and 3 to 11 times more likely to be HPV 16 or 18 seropositive.


Our data indicate that exposures to vaccine HPV types were common in men and highly prevalent among MSM and MSMW.


Our study provides strong evidence that the practice of same-sex anal intercourse is an independent risk factor for seroprevalence of individual vaccine HPV types. Examination of antibody responses to HPV infections at various anatomic sites in future studies is needed to elaborate on the mechanism.

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