An Overview of HPV Infection in Men

The genital infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is highly prevalent and can have several clinical forms. It is a sexually transmitted disease as it spreads by contact with mucus.

In the male genital apparatus the most common form of presentation is asymptomatic, ie, does not usually cause any injury or symptom. Usually it has a silent course and HPV is usually eradicated by the immune system of the patient.

On the other hand, certain serotypes (types of HPV) can cause the formation of warts or genital warts . These can be single or multiple and can occur anywhere of the genital area (base of the penis, scrotum, glans, prepuce, etc.). In people with immune disorders or some kind of immunodeficiency (eg HIV), they can achieve very significant sizes and produce significant discomfort. The warts can remain stable, increase in size with time or disappear spontaneously. Occasionally, they may disappear by topical treatments but in many cases need to be removed by surgery or cryotherapy. Certain, HPV types may increase the risk for cancer of the penis .

A characteristic of HPV, is that although no macroscopic lesions, it may remain silent and make a patient asymptomatic carrier. Thus, it could be a source of infection or injury at any time, often as a result of decreased immune function. The diagnosis of genital lesions secondary to HPV is by clinical examination . There are microbiological tests such as PCR of the virus in a smear of injury that can help the diagnosis, but they are not infallible. Sometimes it is difficult to detect asymptomatic carriers and there is no diagnostic test ensuring high reliability.

In conclusion, HPV infection in men is highly prevalent and can be asymptomatic or cause the appearance of genital lesions. The treatment will be administered by the appearance of these lesions.