Background: Infection with high-risk (HR) human papillomavirus (HPV) is associated with penile cancer in men, cervical cancer in women, and anal cancer and certain types of head and neck cancers in both sexes. Few studies have assessed the prevalence and type distribution of HPV among men in sub-Saharan Africa, where the rates of HIV and penile and cervical cancer are high.
Material and methods: We used data from a cross-sectional study among 1813 men in Tanzania. Penile samples were tested using Hybrid Capture 2, and genotyping was done by the INNO-LiPA HPV Genotyping Extra test. Blood samples were tested for HIV. The overall and type-specific prevalence and 95% confidence interval of HPV was estimated in relation to age and HIV status.
Results: The overall prevalence of HPV was 20.5% (95% confidence interval, 18.7-22.4), the most prevalent HR HPV types being HPV52, HPV51, HPV16, HPV18, HPV35, and HPV66. The HR HPV prevalence was significantly higher in HIV-positive men (25.7%) than in HIV-negative men (15.8%; P = 0.0027). The prevalence of HPV16, HPV18 and multiple HR HPVs tended to be higher among HIV-positive men (statistically nonsignificant), whereas no differences were observed for the other HPV types.
Conclusions: We found a high prevalence of HPV types 52, 51, 16, 18, 35, and 66. This information is of relevance in the understanding of HPV type distributions across populations. Although the prevalence of HPV16 and HPV18 was slightly higher among HIV-positive men, our results indicate that HIV status does not strongly influence the distribution of HPV types. Therefore, the currently available HPV vaccines could prevent HPV infection independently of HIV status.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00932009.