HPV Treatment for Men
Men play a critical role in the transmission of HPV, and in order to decrease HPV exposure and the risk of cervical cancer in women, the problem of HPV infection in men must be addressed.
Gynecologists evaluate and treat female patients with abnormal Pap smears for genital warts, but the male partners of these women are frequently not informed or not advised to pursue treatment. Men are 50% of the problem, and if not treated can reinfect current partners and/or spread the infection to future previously uninfected partners. Any infection in the man can be self-contained more effectively if treated at an earlier stage of growth.
The Gardasil HPV vaccine was initially FDA approved for use in women in 2006, and more recently approved for use in men in 2009. This vaccine builds a logical base for the medical community to begin building a widespread educational push for male preventative measures that help guard against the spread of HPV.
There are many advantages to male vaccination. Men who are vaccinated are significantly less likely to get infected by HPV, and they will get the benefit and relief of avoiding medical and surgical treatment, the inconvenience of doctor visits, and the emotional trauma related to having this persistent and recurrent infection. Men who get vaccinated may also be able to avoid having embarrassing conversations with their partner(s).
Men who learn that they have an HPV infection should inform their partner (and vice versa) so that they have the opportunity to be evaluated by their physician.