Human Papillomavirus (HPV) has become one of the most common STDs in the United States. Most sexually active people will test positive for HPV at some point in their lives. In this article, we describe an HPV test for men, as well as the signs and effects of HPV.
While HPV infections often resolve on their own and often don’t cause any effects, they can cause genital warts or different forms cancers in men, including: orophrayngeal, penile and anal. One possible way to prevent acquiring HPV is through vaccinations that have become available in the past decade. The same as any other sexually transmitted disease (STD), HPV is spread through sexual contact. It can be spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex, as well as skin-to-skin contact.
HPV-16, in particular, is strongly associated with the development of anal, penile, and oropharyngeal cancer. Unfortunately, HPV cancers found are often discovered in advanced stages. HPV screening is necessary to help prevent the spread, as well as reducing the risk of cancers.
HPV spreads from one person to another very easily, often without signs or symptoms. Below are signs of HPV in both men and women:
Penile Symptoms in Men
● Pink growth or new skin color on penis
● Genital warts
Anal Symptoms in Men and Women
● Rectal bleeding
● Anal discomfort
● Perianal warts
● Abnormal changes of the cells in the anus on cytology tests
Oral Symptoms in Men and Women
● Mass (lump) in the side of the neck
● Difficulty chewing or swallowing
● Chronic acid reflux
● Numbness or difficulty moving the jaw
● Pain in the throat
One can help to prevent HPV by having fewer partners and using protection. While condoms do not fully prevent exposure from the STD, it is better to use them and be safe. Nearly 79 million Americans are infected with HPV. While there is no treatment currently for HPV, there are treatments for the negative effects caused by the virus.
Lower Chances of HPV
If you test positive, speak with your doctor to discuss the potential health risks and screening options. As we mentioned above, HPV doesn’t always cause issues and often clears itself; however, this does not mean that you should ignore symptoms and avoid testing.
Be sure to use protection as this can help to keep you from contracting HPV along with other STDs. You want to be sure that you are using condoms and dental dams properly. While condoms and dental dams aren’t has effective in preventing HPV as they are for other STDs, practicing safe sex can help to lower your chances. Another way to help prevent HPV is by getting the HPV vaccine. The HPV vaccine, also known as Gardasil 9, helps to protect against most types of HPV.
If you have any symptoms or simply want to know your HPV status, order a kit from SelfCollect or visit your doctor for a screening. SelfCollect offers an HPV test for men to detect HPV-16, HPV-18, and other high-risk HPV types. If you would like, there is an optional add on to detect low risk types of HPV for vaginal, penile, oral, and anal testing. Using SelfCollect allows HPV testing to be easy, accurate, and private. Order an HPV test today and look into our other STD test kits to cover all your bases and be safe!