Oral HPV Transmitted Through Kissing, Say Researchers


Canadian researchers say their latest research strengthens the evidence that oral HPV can be passed both via oral-to-genital contact as well as via oral-to-oral contact.

Eduardo Franco from the Department of Oncology at McGill University's Faculty of Medicine in Canada and colleagues carried out a study that involved 222 men and their female sexual partners, and it investigated the prevalence of HPV infection among them.

Participants completed a questionnaire about their sexual history and provided the appropriate oral and vaginal or penile/scrotal samples.

Some key findings, including the finding that oral HPV can likely be transmitted through kissing (in bold):

  • Among the participants, 7.2 percent of the males were positive for oral HPV.
  • Among those men, 28.6 percent had a female partner who was also infected with oral HPV.
  • Among this same group, 11.5 percent had a female partner with a genital HPV infection.
  • Researchers concluded that smoking could account for oral HPV infection in 12.2 percent of them.
  • And 17.9 percent of the men infected were in non-monogamous relationships.

One very interesting finding was that a man's risk of HPV infection went up the more they gave oral sex to their infected female partner; notably, per each unit increase in oral sex frequency, his risk of infection with her specific genital HPV type went up two-fold.

"Understanding how HPV is transmitted is important because it will help us identify who is most at risk for HPV infection and how we can help them protect themselves and their partners," said Franco. "Our work provides additional evidence that HPV is sexually transmitted to the oral tract through oral-to-oral and oral-to-genital contact."

The team reported their findings in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Source: MNT


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