In the United States, about 250,000 new cases of genital warts are observed in men every year. Men are of critical importance in terms of HPV because it is mostly transmitted through men. HPV Type 6 and Type 11 are responsible for 90% of genital warts in men. When we compare this condition with the condition of our country, the biggest problem appears to be the fact that our men do not know about the disease, do not consult a doctor, delay the treatment, and in consequence of all these, they spread this disease to women. The research conducted in 2013 by Patel et al. showed that 195 out of every 100,000 men in the European Continent get infected with HPV every year.
The course of HPV infection in men has yet to be clarified. The study conducted by Partrige et al. showed that the complete elimination of the virus from the body takes 5.9 months on average. At the end of 12 months, 75% of men have no HPV virus left in their body. The probability of elimination of the virus from the body does not differ depending on the HPV type. In other words, both low-risk and high-risk types are eliminated from the body to the same extent. HPV is most commonly observed around the proximal penile shaft, glans and inguinal region.
HPV is commonly transmitted through sexual intercourse. Irritated the skin surfaces, open wounds, and open hair follicles increase the risk of transmission. In our country, genital hair removal before a planned sexual intercourse is one of the most important factors that increase the risk of transmission. Men mostly use a razor blade to remove the genital hair, and this damages the upper layer of the skin. When the vaginal secretions of the woman infected with the HPV virus during sexual intercourse spread to such cracked and irritated skin surfaces in the man, the virus attaches to the cells in the basal layer of the skin, and the cellular proliferation occurs. Genital hair removal with wax or a razor blade before sexual intercourse breaks off the small warts in the woman, causing the virus to easily spread to the man and larger areas of the woman’s own skin.
The condom that protects the genital area up to the proximal penile shaft from HPV cannot protect the hairy area as it will be in contact with the vaginal secretions. Studies show that circumcised men are less likely to get infected with HPV than uncircumcised men.
HPV Type 6 and Type 11 are responsible for 90% of all genital warts, but studies have shown that in 45.5% of all cases of warts in men includes more than one HPV type, among which 12.5% are high-risk HPVs such as Type 16 and 18. Therefore, when we see genital warts a man, we should not feel relaxed by saying that they are caused by a low-risk HPV. We need to take measures to protect both man and his partner, without ignoring the possibility of an accompanying high-risk HPV.