Co-infection with multiple HPV types was detected in high percentages of HPV positive patients. – Acta Dermato-Venereologica (1)
Is it possible to be infected with more than one type of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV)? It is actually common to carry more than one strain (type) of HPV, according to a new study by researchers from the Copenhagen University Hospital (1).
In general, it is more common for women with genital warts to also have high risk HPV types in the anal region. “It seems that anal HPV is not as common in men as in women (1).”
The exception to this is in men who have sex with men.
In this group up to 62% had anal HPV. “The period prevalence defined as having an HPV infection either at enrollment or at the 6-month visit was… several folds higher (62.2%) (1).”
On the other hand, men were found to have higher rates of oral HPV along with genital wart infection. “In the oral rinse samples HPV 16 was the most frequently detected HPV type. The prevalence of oral HPV was 12.1% in men and 6.9% in women (1).” In addition, “The prevalence was higher among men than among women.
Oral HPV was uncommon among sexually inexperienced individuals and increased significantly with number of sexual partners (1).”
Authors of the study summarized their findings by writing that “In conclusion, in both men and women with genital wart-like lesions multiple HPV infections are often present and extra genital HPV is common. Both genital and anal high-risk HPV are more prevalent in women than in men, while in oral high-risk HPV could be more prevalent in men (1).”
The bottom line?
Surprisingly, it is very common to be infected with many strains of HPV. Some may be high risk, some may be low risk, some may infect the genitals, some the mouth, some the anus. It’s unpleasant and risky.
(1) Kofoed K1, Sand C, Forslund O, Madsen K. “Prevalence of human papillomavirus in anal and oral sites among patients with genital warts.” Acta Derm Venereol. 2014 Mar;94(2):207-11.
(2) Hanan Polansky, Edan Itzkovitz “Gene-Eden-VIR Is Antiviral: Results of a Post Marketing Clinical Study” Pharmacology & Pharmacy – Published September 2013